Cork Emergency Departments
Use one of the following treatments as advised by your Doctor or Physiotherapist.Print Version
- Apply for 10-20 minutes, 4 times a day. Do not exceed
- Ice can BURN your skin. Therefore lift the ice or remove your hand or foot regularly during treatment to check your skin
- Stop the treatment if your experience an uncomfortable burning sensation during cold application
- Redness (Erythema) of the skin for approximately ½ hour is usual after treatment. If this persists, seek medical advice
- If you have Raynaud’s Disease (i.e. your hands change colour from white to blue to red) do not use the following treatments. Consult your Doctor or Physiotherapist.
- Ice packs or frozen peas – wrap in a moist towel and apply to the area to be treated
- Keep in freezer between treatments. Do not consume peas used for treatment
- Refrigerated wet towels
- Crushed ice wrapped in a moist towel
- Ice cube massage. To treat 1 or 2 small joints e.g. fingers, use an ice cube wrapped in a thin moist cloth and rub around the joint for 5 minutes
- Immersion. Soak hand or foot in cold water for 3-4 minutes with regular removal. Add ice cubes if possible
- Contrast Baths. Use 2 basins – one with warm water, the other with cold water (ice cubes can be added).
- Place the part into the basin of cold water for 1 minute, then into the warm water for 1 minute
- Repeat 3-5 times
For the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury
- Rest and Protect the injured area
- Ice – cool the area
- Compression – apply a compression bandage
- Elevation – keep the area elevated
After 48 hours
- Move– start gentle movement of the area
- Ice – continue to apply ice for at least 72 hours
- Compression – continue to use a compression bandage for 3-10days
- Elevate –continue to keep the area elevated for 72 hours
1. Low and Reed, 2000, ‘Electrotherapy Explained - Principles and Practice’, 3rd Edition, Chap. 9.
2. Prentice, Voight (2001), ‘Techniques in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division, Chap. 3.
3. The use of ice in treatment of acute soft tissue Injury. Beakley et al. The american Journal of Sports Medicine 32:251261 (2004)
If in doubt, please contact your GP or the Emergency DepartmentPrint Version