There are many questions concerned with an ice pack when using or making it. Improper use of ice packs not only worsens the pains and injuries but also postpones the recovery and results in potential risks.
Ice compresses are used in many medical disciplines. For example, shock patients use ice caps to protect brain tissue, and fever patients use underarm ice packs to physically cool down. Among them, ice packs are the most widely used in sports medicine. Due to different treatment purposes, the selection of ice packs and the method of ice packs are also very different. The combination of suitable ice packs and scientific ice packs can achieve the best and safest ice pack effect.
Now there are various ice packs available on the market, which can be roughly divided into two types, with freezing gel, and without freezing gel. The icebox containing the freezing gel is similar to the icebox in the car refrigerator, and its cold capacity can reach six times that of the same volume of ice. This kind of ice pack is convenient and efficient to use in refrigeration and fresh-keeping. However, because the initial surface temperature is too low and not constant, it is not effective or even safe when used for limb ice compress. In contrast, the ice pack without freezing gel has a better effect. Using the ice-water mixture as the cooler, the surface temperature of the ice pack is constant and the effect is long-lasting.
Homemade ice packs are usually made without gels. Not only is it cheap, but more importantly, the safety and effect of homemade ice packs are guaranteed, and there are even other advantages.
How to make a homemade ice pack
1. Materials: medium ziplock bag, ice cubes, water
2. Ice pack production process and precautions
Generally, 1 part of ice + 2 parts of water, and the ice-water mix accounts for half of the ice pack capacity.
When sealing, first discharge the air above the water surface, do not tie the knot close to the water surface and do not use half a bag of air and half a bag of water.Benefits of doing so:
- The ice pack will not bulge and will not easily slip off when placed.
- Increase the contact area between the ice pack and the skin.
- There is no air in the ice pack, so the ice pack will not cause uneven force and make the ice pack uneven.
After the seal is fastened, put another layer of the fresh-keeping bag on the outside to ensure that the liquid in the ice bag will not leak out.
Time to Ice pack
Acute injury: An ice pack for knee should be applied for the first time of the injury. The sooner the ice pack is applied, the better the effect of reducing swelling; the ice pack can also be applied in the next 2 to 3 days until the swelling subsides. If there is no ice pack in the first few days after the injury, the injured local is still painful and swollen, and it can also be relieved by ice, but the effect will be reduced.
Postoperative Rehabilitation: Ice therapy is essential when recovering from sports medicine surgery. Taking the knee joint as an example, ice compresses can reduce the pain of bending legs, reduce the congestion and edema of the tissues around the knee joint, and reduce the occurrence of myositis ossificans. Ice compresses are generally performed as soon as possible after rehabilitation exercises, so ice packs should be prepared before practice. For patients with swollen joints and obvious pain, ice compresses can also be used to reduce swelling and relieve pain during the interval of bending legs.
Methods of using homemade ice pack
For ice packs made of an ice-water mixture, put a little more ice cubes when the room temperature is high because the ice cubes will melt faster when the room temperature is high. If the ice cubes quickly turn into water, the temperature of the surface of the ice pack will begin to rise, and the effect of the second half of the ice application will be affected.
The advantage of making homemade ice packs is that you can use a transparent plastic bag, so you can see the ice-water mixture melt at any time during the ice application. When using an ice pack for the first time, you can put a thin towel on the local that need an ice pack, do not wrap the ice pack. The ice pack usually lasts for 15 to 20 minutes, so it is best to let the ice cubes melt away in about 20 minutes.
The frequency of ice treatments can be increased to once every 2 to 3 hours if necessary. When applying ice to the parts with bony protrusions (such as the fibular head, tibial tubercle, etc.), the time of the ice pack should be strictly controlled, and the ice pack should not be directly contacted with the skin to avoid frostbite.