Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions, such as arthritis.
Apply an ice or cold pack to the injured or sore area at least 3 times a day for as long as you have pain, swelling, and inflammation. Use ice for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a day: in the morning, in the late afternoon after work or school, and about one-half hour before bedtime. Also, ice after any prolonged activity or vigorous exercise.
Always keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack, and press firmly against all the curves of the affected area. Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin.
Commercial cold packs are too heavy and bulky for use on or around the eye. Be careful around the eye to prevent a chemical burn to the eye if a pack leaks.
Last Revised: June 27, 2012
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