To Ice or Not To Ice

That is the question.

Often people ask for advice as to whether they should use ice after injury of not. At schools, pupils are educated on the RICE principle – Rest Ice Compression Elevation – but what should you really be doing.


When to use ice?

Apply ice for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours within the first 48-72 hours following the [soft-tissue] injury

– NICE Guidelines 2016

Why use it?

  • Ice can alleviate pain
  • It also reduces swelling

When to be cautious?

If you suffer from a peripheral vascular disease or Raynauds it would be best to seek advice as to whether you should use ice as a treatment for your injury.

You should also take precautions to avoid frostbite, such as wrapping the ice-pack in a tea towel. Also avoid applying ice to an open wound.

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