The first action to take when dealing with certain injuries is the application of ice. It is an important initial step in the treatment for acute injuries such as strains, contusions, tendon tears, and overuse injuries. It is an element of the RICE (the acronym for rest, ice application, compression, and elevation) treatment protocol.
Rather than putting an ice pack over the injury, you may make yourself an ice cup to perform a cryotherapy icing treatment. Cryotherapy are a type of massage therapy in which enables you to apply cold therapy directly to the portion of pain and inflammation. The ice both reduces the pain sensations and blood flow, and helps to gradually restore the soft tissue in a manner similar to a massage.
How to Do an Ice Massage
Ice therapy can be performed at home only if you follow some simple safety guidelines to prevent overwork injury:
- Place a small paper cup three-quarters of the way with water in the freezer until frozen.
- Remove around an inch from the base of the cup, revealing the inner part of the ice. The remainder of that cup is for is for you to hold on to.
- Gently massage the area with the ice cube in a circular pattern. Never let the ice cube freeze into the same place.
- Focus on massaging soft tissues rather than on bones to maximize the healing potential.
- As the ice begins to melt, peel off further paper as needed.
- You will experience sensations similar to those of a tissue massage starting with intense cold, followed by burning, aching, and eventually numbness. Pause the massage once numbness is obtained, generally no more than ten minutes to avoid frostbite.
- Repeat the ice therapy two to five times a day. Give yourself at least sixty minutes between massages to allow the superficial skin temperature to return to normal.
If you don’t want to make your own ice cups, you can purchase reusable plastic cryo-cups with rounded bottoms online. Just fill the cup with water, freeze, and apply directly to the injury. The rounded bottom on the cup makes it easier to hold, making the application much easier.