Ice Therapy: Or cold therapy with ice is the best immediate treatment for acute injuries because it reduces swelling and pain. Ice is a vaso-constrictor (it causes the blood vessels to narrow) and it limits internal bleeding at the injury site. Apply ice (wrapped in a thin towel for comfort) to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time. You can ice an acute injury several times a day for up to three days. Cold therapy is also helpful in treating some overuse injuries or chronic pain in athletes. An athlete who has chronic knee pain that increases after running may want to ice the injured area after each run to reduce or prevent inflammation. It's not helpful to ice a chronic injury before exercise.
The best way to ice an injury is with a high quality ice pack that conforms to the body part being iced. You can also get good results from a bag of frozen peas, an ice massage with water frozen in a paper cup (peel the cup down as the ice melts) or a bag of ice. 1. Always cover the ice product with a paper towel. The person in this picture is doing it wrong, and might freezer burn his knee. 2. Don't go over 10-15 minutes per hour. Usually when the body part being covered goes numb, your done. 3. Never fall asleep when doing Ice Therapy. 4. Don't place Ice Therapy over an open wound.