Local Cold Therapy


Local Cold Therapy, Ice Therapy

  • Technique
  1. Apply cold, static or with massage
    1. Wrap in wet thin towel an Ice pack or Bag of frozen peas
    2. Ice in dixie cups (see ice massage below)
    3. Immersed in 55 F cool water
  2. Alternative Techniques: Ice massage
    1. Water frozen in paper cup
    2. Rub ice over heel in circular motion for 5-10 minutes
  3. Frequency: As often as once hourly to every 2-4 hours
  4. Duration: 15 to 20 minutes per application (avoid application longer than 30 minutes)
  5. Length of treatment
    1. Acute Injury: 72 hours
    2. Chronic Injury: as needed
  • Precautions
  1. Risk of Frostbite
    1. Remove ice if skin becomes numb
    2. Observe skin frequently for Frostbite
    3. Use caution with fingers and toes
  2. Risk of superficial nerve injury
    1. Avoid applying ice longer than 20 minutes
  • Contraindications
  1. Patients at risk for limb vasospasm or ischemia