Ouch! Now that pain literally took the breath right out of me!
Are you suffering today with pain that’s really vying for your attention? I’m talking about the kind of pain whose intensity you would rank as a 7 or more on a scale of 10. Or is your pain associated with swelling? Then, like it or not my friend, you are in the market for a good icing!
Traditionally ice has been prescribed for only the first three days following an acute injury. Yet in my experience the two things that warrant elongated ice treatment regimens are:
1) If swelling persists, which is NOT arthritis related (arthritis tends to respond better to warmth).
2) If your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication for you.
Ice itself has two wonderful properties. First it is a topical anti-inflammatory agent, which you can apply directly to the source of swelling and/or pain, and second, it is an anti-spasmodic, which means it eases muscle spasms.
The best way to apply ice to your painful self is to use a frozen gel pack (or even a package of frozen peas in a pinch!) which can contour nicely to the application area. Before applying the ice you must place a wet paper towel between your skin and the ice pack for maximal transmission of cold. Grin (or clench) and bear it, because within 5 minutes your skin will become numb. Icing this way will require only a ten minute commitment (any more may risk frostbite if your ice pack retains its coldness well).
Repeat this process three to five times per day and soon you’ll be bidding your pain a frosty farewell!