ICE is our FRIEND!

If you have ever slid off the road or slipped on the ice then you are probably ready to strongly disagree, so let me add – ice is our friend…in most First-Aid treatment.

Ice reduces edema or swelling or inflammation or whatever you want to call it. One of the primary objectives to First-Aid is to reduce pain. This is most easily done with ice.

Someone hits you with a baseball bat, it hurts right? An hour later it still hurts, but the person (hopefully) is not still hitting you with the bat. So, why does it still hurt? They have triggered, as with all trauma, the inflammatory response. This is a complex biological process, but simply recognized through the presence of heat, redness, swelling and pain. It is basically the body’s way of saying, “Hey! There’s something wrong over here!”

With the exception of burns and amputated parts if it’s traumatically induced pain the answer is ice.

Ice numbs pain and reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels. After an injury, wrap ice or an ice pack in a cloth and apply it. (or if you have to get creative – perhaps a bag of frozen vegetables or something else from the freezer) The tissue thickness of the injured area determines the length of the ice application. **Knees require 15 minutes, while thicker tissue, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, requires 20 minutes. Thinner tissue, such as ankles and feet, requires approximately 10 minutes. Don’t exceed the appropriate time frame.** Then remove for 20 minutes and reapply for the appropriate time again and so on. To prevent frostbite, do not apply ice directly to the skin. You should not incorporate heat to aid in healing for 2-3 days.

You should add instant ice packs to your First-Aid box.

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