cold therapy, cryotherapy, ice massage, ice massage treatment, Ice spray

The Truth About Ice Massage To Relieve Pain – Fitoont

Ice Massage, a cryotherapy method, is very effective for muscle damage. It is also possible to put it into practice with simple ice cubes. And it is a godsend for pain and for treating inflammation of damaged tissues.
Cryotherapy is one of the most used by physiotherapists, especially in sport, in which it is the priority technique in any injury suffered by athletes. In addition to being low cost and easy to apply, health professionals choose this technique for several reasons: to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.

And should be used in most cases where an acute injury, such as; Contusion: which is a blow, a bruise
without a skin injury usually caused by a trauma, or after surgery, a muscle tear, a sprain, an injury to the ligament of a joint, etc.

During the ice massages, the patient will experience four distinct sensations: intense cold, burning, pain and analgesia. The burning and painful sensations will go away within 1 to 2 minutes.

To begin, you will need an ice pack or gel pack, which are available at most drugstores. In an emergency also use a bag of frozen vegetables! Wrap the ice in a towel and apply it to the affected region for 15-20 minutes.

If you are not comfortable with this method, there are many products available that make it very easy to use ice therapy to relieve pain and inflammation.

Ice Massage and Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response to injury and serves to help repair tissue; however, excessive inflammation causes pain. Ice Massage with Cold applications can help minimize inflammation, reduce pain, and speed healing.

Ice can be applied in many ways:
  • Static ice applications
  • Ice spray
  • Ice massage

The latter method is less known, but it is an excellent method to work on very specific areas such as the neck, a shoulder, a knee, etc. And to reduce the time required to produce the desired effects. If you are short on time, this type of application is the one for you.

The use of ice massage to relieve pain is also possible with special bands that are fixed around the joint. For example the neck and allow its application while keeping the hands free.

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How To Do Cryotherapy Right?

Using a warm, damp towel over an ice pack can eliminate some of the thermal shock, which can cause muscle spasms or twitching. And the initial warming sensation allows you to gradually adjust to the cold. This helps avoid any sudden initial reactions to the cold that can over-tighten your muscles. (Consider placing ice on your hurting shoulder; this small suggestion will assist you avoid being in too much agony from the cold). I recommend never leaving the ice on for more than 20 minutes to avoid freezing the tissues too much.

Another method of applying ice therapy is ice massage. In this case, do not keep the ice one place for more than 3 minutes.

Video For How to set up Cryotherapy (Ice Massage)?

Cold therapy with Ice Massage

A 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics indicated that In clinical practice, the use of ice or cryotherapy in the treatment of sports injuries is generally established.

Numerous physiological benefits of ice have been proposed, including peripheral cooling of superficial tissues, reduced inflammatory response, reduced pain, reduced edema formation, and decreased cell death due to secondary hypoxia.

When compared to other treatments, ice massage is an effective and economical modality that results in the chilling of superficial and deep tissues in a relatively short amount of time. Ice massage has been demonstrated to be beneficial in relieving discomfort associated with labor, decreasing pain and improving function in patients with knee osteoarthritis and reducing neuropathic pain.

According to the findings of this study, ice massage lowers the discomfort and muscular spasms linked with exercise. Another local mechanism might be a reduction in the release of free radicals connected to muscular exercise, as ice is commonly utilized to restore performance following exercise-induced heat stress,” the paper reads.

Finally, a recent study showed that ice application significantly increased the conduction rate of quadriceps muscle fibers after induction of arthrogenic pain. Hence, it is also possible that the nerve conduction velocity was altered by the ice massage. Both local and central mechanisms may be involved in the sensory and motor effects of ice massage.

Furthermore,“Ice massage appears to be more effective in reducing intramuscular temperature than an ice pack.”

5 Tips To perform an Ice Massage Correctly

  1. Ice massage is performed by using ice or a cryomassage ball.
  2. Directly to the skin and making a circular or back and forth motion on the site to be treated.
  3. One method for larger areas such as the back is to start the massage about 30 cm from the exact point of the lesion.
  4. Then slowly move centrally towards the damaged tissue, so that the massage is concentrated in an area of ​​about 10/15 cm in diameter.
  5. Keep a towel handy to soak up the melted ice as you go.

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Response of The Body To Ice Massage and Cold Therapy

The response to ice massage will typically consist of 4 progressive stages:

  1. Cold: The first sensation is that of cold, which is felt almost immediately and progresses to an unpleasant sensation of cold in the next phase.

  2. Burning: The annoying cold turns into a type of burning sensation. It usually takes about 4 minutes.

  3. Pain-Discomfort: the sensation of pain is short-lived, but signals the approach of the final phase.

  4. Numbness: As the ice massage is continued, the area to be treated becomes progressively numb (almost analgesic). The ice massage should be discontinued when the response reaches this point or after 5 minutes (whichever occurs first).

What To Watch Out For During Ice Massage

Before using this technique you should be familiar with the previous phases, if you have never used ice as a therapy try to use it in a static way and pay attention to the sensations of the phases I described above.

You have to be very careful not to use this particular method for more than 5 minutes.

Do not keep the ice immobile in one place for more than 2 minutes.

After the treatment, the area should be dried with a cloth, but not rubbed so as not to raise the temperature immediately.

How Long Should Ice massage Treatment Be Used For?

In general, if not applied directly to the skin (with a cloth separating it from direct contact), ice can be used for 15-20 minutes. It makes no sense to leave it in place for 30 minutes or an hour because it will fall out after approximately 16 minutes.

It will no longer be of any use to our tissues and the packs will lose their effective level of cold. After using it, place the ice packs or gel wraps in the freezer for about 45 minutes to reach a therapeutic level again for effective application. If cold therapy packs are being cooled for the first time, leave them in the freezer for approximately 6 hours before use.

If you no longer need to defrost them, clean them, dry them thoroughly and store them, but remember that for effective maintenance it is best to place them in the freezer every 6 months or so to keep them effective, in this way they should last for years.

How To Use Ice Massage To Relieve Acute Pain?

The new wrappers allow for easy application and storage. They can be used while sitting, standing or lying down, making them great for home use and very effective for applying to the neck, shoulders and upper back. For an acute problem that presents pain and inflammation, a good method to use for ice therapy 10 mins out of 10 mins without 10 mins out of every 1-2 hours during the first 24-48 hours after injury, or 10 mins of application every 15 minutes for the first 1-3 hours.

To use these methods, you must have ready-to-use packages. Hence, it is very useful to have ice or bags of gel in the freezer. However, injuries are often unexpected, so you may need to improvise. You can crush the ice and put it in a plastic bag or even use an already frozen vegetable bag and if you are around you can stop for a popsicle, ice cream or frozen food at a supermarket. Don’t forget to always put a layer of tissue between the ice and the skin.

Combination of Ice and Heat Therapy

The combination of heat and ice is an effective method of reducing swelling. Combined therapy also produces a pumping action in the tissues, which promotes drainage and prevents blood stagnation after trauma. You should start with heat, then alternate with ice and always end with ice. This may be repeated as required and is an excellent approach to encourage recovery and quickly transition from the acute to the subacute stage, where heat may be the primary therapeutic choice.

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When To Use Cold Therapy?

Cold is great for recent or acute injury or inflammation. However, there are times when a recent onset of pain does not require heat, such as waking up in the morning with a stiff neck from poor sleeping posture or sleeping under a cold current. These situations usually respond best to heat therapy such as a hot morning shower. This is because ice can cause muscle tone to increase.

In general, short applications of ice can help and provide pain relief by removing inflammation and can reduce muscle spasms directly related to swelling and pain. Ice reduces fluid stagnation, decreases localized blood pressure and promotes lymphatic drainage.

When NOT To Use Cold Therapy?

Although ice is well tolerated by most of the population, some people cannot tolerate this type of therapy.

Ice therapy should not be used in people with:

  • Hypersensitivity to cold.
  • Atherosclerosis, or diabetes, in whom sensitivity is greatly reduced.
  • In people with gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In some people with collagen disorders.

If you have any concerns, please ask me during treatment if you can utilize this approach or see your doctor.

Benefits of Ice Massage

1- Skin shine: ice cubes stimulate blood circulation, giving the skin a natural shine. Use ice cubes to massage your face, you will be surprised by the results.

2- Reduces skin spots  Ice cubes can help reduce inflammation and redness of boils and skin spots. Apply the ice cube directly to the pimples until the skin becomes sensitive. Do these steps before going to sleep.

3- Reduces dark circles: icing some cucumber juice and applying it to dark circles can help fight them, reducing swelling.

4- Tone Skin: Ice cubes are a cheap alternative to skin toning creams. They can be applied before makeup, as by reducing the size of the pores. It leaves the makeup with a smooth and flawless base.

5- Replaces make-up: don’t have time for make-up? Applying ice cubes wrapped in canvas can help you achieve a radiant, fresh look without makeup.

6- Avoid wrinkles: it has been shown that ice delays the appearance of wrinkles and eases the symptoms of old age.

Do not apply ice directly to the skin. But wrap it in a cloth, and use gloves to hold it properly. Let the ice sit for a few minutes before applying it to your skin. Do not use it right out of the freezer. Try to avoid massaging the same area for more than 10 minutes.


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