How Long to Use Direct Ice

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jon44, May 31, 2008.

  1. jon44

    jon44 New User

    Aug 6, 2007
    I've got a lot of joints that benefit from icing after playing tennis and I've found the most reliable way to have access to ice is to use "Ice-Up"--which is a commercial version of ice in a styroafoam cup. In the interests of time efficiency, I'm wondering what people find to be the shortest amount of time to use direct ice and till get benefit.

    I suppose the rationale for going shorter than the time you'd use an ice pack for is that directly applying the ice is much for efficient...

  2. bobbyb

    bobbyb Rookie

    Nov 18, 2006
    well at my school there is a trainers office and they say too do that for 10 minutes while ice packs for 20
  3. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

    Apr 26, 2008
    Big Orange Nation
    go 15 minutes and take off 15 minutes and do that twice if you have the time...your "spot" whereever you put it will go numb after a few minutes and you'll hardly notice it, and you'll feel alot better.
  4. obnoxious2

    obnoxious2 Semi-Pro

    Mar 25, 2008
    I keep it on until I can't feel it anymore. When you keep ice on for a few minutes you start feeling a burning sensation. Fight through it and then it'll feel nice and numb.
  5. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Jul 5, 2005
    15 minutes is good.

    There are some who say that icing for more than 15 minutes results in vasodilation.
  6. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 18, 2004
    With an achilles injury used ice in a dixie cup for 10 minutes, then massaged the achilles, re-iced another 10 minutes to supposedly promote healing thru increased blood-flow. That and a couple cortisone shots worked well.
  7. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

    Feb 24, 2004
    You can also burn your skin if you apply direct ice for too long. I've seen some pretty nasty pictures of this.
  8. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    Long ago, my doctor said to never do more than 15-minutes of direct icing. I usually don't even ice that long before giving it a chance to rest. You don't want to damage the skin by applying direct ice for 40-minutes or something.
  9. califsurferboy33

    califsurferboy33 Semi-Pro

    Feb 5, 2007
    yup yup yup yup yup
  10. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Aug 30, 2005
    Done that. Some 6years ago, I twisted my ankle (it was a nasty twist) and I was in a lot of pain. My mentor was so worry about me (well he caused it, he made me run on that play), that he just put ice on my ankle without a towel or anything. I was in too much pain to worry about towels or whatever. I ended up leaving the ice on for nearly 40mins like WildVolley said (seriously, i was in that much pain).

    When i got home, my ankle turn bluish/purple. I thought it was just the discoloration from the sprain. Turns out, it was the beginning of frostbite and to make it worse, it got infected. I went to the emergency room in the middle of the night and had it checked out. When I got there, the doctor looked at the ankle with look: "wow... it takes a real genius to do this..."

    I was on crutches for a month and the infection went away after a couple of days. Yeah i admit it was a bad experience, but I dont blame my mentor at all, he was just worry and I was in too much pain to complain.

    Luckily, i walked away without any structural damage and there's no lingering effect.
  11. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 18, 2004
    Good thing you have two ankles
  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Feb 25, 2006
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Whenever you apply ice directly to the skin, you need to keep it moving -- you should be massaging the area with an "ice cup' or something similar. As long as you keep it moving you should be able to apply ice directly to the skin for 10-15 minutes without any dermal or epidermal damage.

    Another alternative to the "ice cup" is so fill (80% full) a small water bottle with water and freeze it. You can massage to area with the water bottle without worrying about melting ice making a mess.

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