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Monday, May 7

Ice an Injury

The ABCs and running series: Today's topic "ICE"
As a runner you are well aware of that dreaded feeling that happens when an injury has occurred. OMG - First, stop whatever you doing, then head home and raid the freezer. (Of course if a serious injury has occurred, such as the dreaded Achilles' tendon rupture you should also seek medical attention.)

"There are more than 10 million sport injuries a year...The most common cause of sports injuries is overuse."
Your first home remedy should be applying ice. Using ice can prevent gross swelling and reduce pain.
But how does this actually work?
The injured part swells because fluid leaks from blood vessels. By causing the blood vessels to constrict, cold reduces their tendency to leak, thus restricting the amount of fluid and swelling in the injured part.
[ref - Merck Medical Manual]
Less swelling = less pain.
The ice also numbs the nerve impulses = less pain.

Icing Options
  • Zip lock bag with crushed ice. Always put a cloth between you and the ice. A pillow case will do the trick.

  • Re-useable cold packs. I have 3 in my freezer at all times.

  • A sealed bag of frozen peas or corn. Please mark with a Sharpie -> Not For Consumption!

  • A cloth bag with Velcro straps - to hold a bag of frozen peas. Nice.

  • An instant cold pack. Simply squeeze to activate. [Ammonium nitrate mixed with water?]

  • A plastic water bottle (or paper cup), half filled with water then frozen. This option is great for rolling under your foot. Make sure you have a sock on.

  • Freeze a wet towel and then place in a zip-lock bag to use. You can form it into whatever shape required.

  • Chill a Cherry Pit Pac. I have used one of these for years. It molds to your body and is very comfy.
"Always keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack.
Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time,
and do do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin."
Excellent advice from WebMD

I would definitely need an ice pack after this stretch.

NYPL Digital Image #1531634