The treatment of chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases heats or hot compresses is a traditional therapy. However, cold or ice packs also have a great beneficial contribution in the treatment of joint and muscle ailments, which is known as the therapeutic use of ice.
Although it has long been known that cold can have an analgesic effect, ice therapy has made modern sports medicine popular. Cryotherapy was used for the first time in athletes because recovery times after intense training were observed to be significantly shortened. The ice packs have the great contribution of being available for longer to calm any ailment with just one application, taking more than 30 minutes to apply.
The effects on the body of the ice pack
Ice or cold have a triple effect on the body: it is in turn relaxing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Ice packs suppress pain in several ways. Cold stimuli reach the brain faster than pain and thus cover the actual pain stimulus from the diseased joint.
Nerves reduce their conduction speed in cold temperatures and reduce the sensitivity of pain receptors in the skin. Ice also acts positively against inflammation because it inhibits metabolic processes that support inflammatory processes.
Ice bag to relieve ailments
Different cold temperatures can also help the therapist treat different types of ailments. Ice packs, frozen fabrics, cold wraps, frozen silicate pads, cold washes, ice baths or cold air can be applied in a variety of ways, such as massage, in the bath or in the cold room. These types of therapies use temperatures from +1 to -180° C.
How to make the cold bag ourselves?
Mix one part alcohol with three parts water in a Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. The alcohol will prevent the water from freezing completely. When it comes to a frozen package, it is covered with a towel or cloth and applied to the area to be treated and it works perfectly.
And for those who like to make things more elaborate, the ice pack can be designed in the style of a pillowcase, protecting the body with a flannel cover.
Tip: If the mixture freezes too much, just add a little more alcohol. If it’s too muddy, add a little water. This is something very simple.
Another way to make ice packs for pain, like the image at the top of this article, is by using sponges.
First, you take a standard kitchen sponge and dip it in water. It is then placed inside a ziploc bag, and later placed in the freezer. The best part is, once the ice starts to melt, the sponge will soak up the water so it doesn’t leak out.