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Georgetown Chiropractor | Georgetown chiropractic care | TX | Using COLD for Pain Relief

Here to help you FEEL GOOD, NATURALLY
Your Source of Natural Healing

Experienced and Caring Chiropractic in Georgetown

David W. Loper, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic
since 1989
1627 Williams Dr., #102-B
Georgetown, TX 78628-3659
ph# 512-863-2786
txt# 512-869-9811
email dloperdc@gmail.com

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Using COLD for Pain Relief


Remember "R. I. C. E."






R.I.C.E decreases recovery time by decreasing inflammation to an injury therefore minimizing the possibility of further injury.  The initials stand for:


REST which allows the body to muster its regenerative power to heal


ICE which reduces swelling, pain and decreases metabolism.  Because of this effect of ice, there is less secondary injury.  It does not reverse the original injury, but does keep body processes from making the injury worse.


COMPRESSION which increases pressure to help control swelling.  Compression also promotes reabsorbtion of fluids which helps the healing process.


ELEVATION which reduces blood and fluid flow to injured areas, relieving the pressure in bloodvessels, and reducing leakage.  Elevation also promotes fluid drainaage from the injured tissues through the lymphatic system.


SUPPLIES:Your choice of:

Ice bag filled with ice and a little water which will spread the cold.

Leak proof plastic bag filled with ice and water.

Bag of frozen vegetables such as green peas, beans or corn are very handy in an emergency.

Ice, wrapped in a towel (be prepared for leakage).

Bowl of water and ice for immersion.

Cold Gel pack which is reusable.  Keep in freezer for emergency use.  Gel packs are convenient, but are less effective because they do not maintain a constant cold temperature.


Additional supplies:

An elastic bandage Holds the ice bag to the area. This enhances the effect because it also can furnish compression which helps to reduce swelling.

Layer of fabric to place between the ice and skin -- to prevent frostbite.



Apply ice to area for 20 to 30  minutes on and 30 minutes off for the first 2 to 3 hours.  After this first time, ice should be used as often as possible for the next 72 hours.  Do not keep the ice on for more than 30 minutes at time, or swelling may reoccur.  This is because the body will re- open the blood vessels in an attempt to warm the body with increased circulation.



            First sensation is that of extreme cold.

            As the body adapts, it feels cool but tolerable.

            As you near the end of the 20 minutes, expect an unpleasant, almost burning sensation.  Don’t back out now!!!  You are almost there!!!  As the blood vessels constrict, it always feels worse just before reaching the pleasant pain killing effects.  Keep the cold application on, and soon the pain subsides, and the pain of the injury will be gone too.  This should be close to the 20 minute point.

            Keep it on for 5 more minutes, then remove the cold source.

            Remember NO MORE than 30 minutes

            After 25 - 30 minutes, reapply ice pack -- again

            You can repeat the process as long as you experience pain in the area.



            Repeat ice pack treatments as needed for the first 3 or 4 days.

            After the 4th day, a warm / cold application can be beneficial.  This warm/cold treatment uses the known fact that heat expands the tissues and cold contracts them.  This action creates a pumping action that forces the escaped blood and fluids away.





WARM/COLD application technique uses a folded towel soaked in warm (not too hot) water, and an ice pack.


First Apply the heat for 5 min. follow immediately with the ice treatment for

5 minutes.  Continue to alternate the warm and cold packs every five minutes for up to an hour, with ice being used last. Repeat the process as often as you can, until the swelling and bruising is gone.



Ice application can be done by anyone.  It should be used immediately after injury has occurred, even before getting attention from a professional.

Immediate pain relief is a big benefit.

Quicker healing of the injury is an added advantage.

Use of ice is much preferred to the use of heat in the early stages of recovering from an injury.  Heat applications have short term effect only, and will slow down the healing process by increasing inflammation.  Therefore HEAT TREATMENTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED THE FIRST 3 OR 4 DAYS AFTER AN INJURY.








Muscle pulls, joint sprains, (ankle sprain) muscle cramping, direct injury, any other types of soft tissue injury can be helped by ice application.


It is a natural pain killer and anti - inflammatory.  Ice numbs the nerves, blocking pain associated with the injury.  Ice is safe for almost all applications.  Ice has no dangerous side effects and it is inexpensive.



In the early stages of injury, the blood vessels dilate, releasing plasma and blood, causing internal bruising.  This can go on for 2  - 3 days or more and may lead to problems such as swelling, pain, reduced mobility and further tissue damage.  An application of ice over the area will cause constriction of the blood vessels.  This prevents leakage of the blood and fluids and allows the body to drain any fluid already there, resulting in faster healing.



After 30 minutes of ice application, the blood vessels will expand again in an attempt to warm the area, allowing renewed leakage and swelling.  Therefore, DO NOT USE ICE FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES AT A TIME.