A good article written on Outside Online about concussion recovery:
"Breakthrough therapies are helping athletes recover from injuries previously thought untreatable. But many doctors remain unaware of the advancements." READ MORE
NEVER put ice packs directly on your skin, use a protective barrier (towel, blanket etc) you can dampen your barrier to make it a little colder if you like. Be careful not to over ice. If left on for too long, ice may cause burning to the skin (25-30 plus minutes). So remember CBAN next time you ice! These are the stages of sensation you should feel as the icing process happens:
Icing is generally recommended 3-5 times a day for about 10 to 15mins depending on the size of the area and the condition that you are icing.
Ice is safer than using heat in most cases however if you have congestive heart failure icing should be closely monitored by your doctor as reduction of swelling in the extremities might overload the heart. People with Raynauds should not use ice alone but alternate hot/cold.
Your may also want to read ICING- EVEN IN THE WINTER TIME
It will help boost your immune system, strengthen and normalize your circulatory, musculoskeletal, nervous and endocrine systems.
If doing arm bath take to separate tubs (double sinks work very well/rubermaid bins) fill one with hot water (approx 39C) and one with cold (approx 15C). Put arms/feet into hot first for 3 mins, then immediately into cold for 30secs. Repeat this 3x’s always ending with cold.
If doing in shower follow same directions just switch from hot to cold water.
Contrast showers are great everyday and are very invigorating in the morning and will help you sleep better if done at night. Contrast showers are also great after exercise.
Stop or decrease intensity if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous or chilled. Your tolerance for contrasting might be affected by acute illness, dehydration, menstruation, or poor nutrition. Do not contrast if you have any cardiovascular disease until you have talked to your doctor.
How do you determine whether you use heat or ice?
Here are the main applications for ICE:
Most people don’t enjoy how cold feels on their skin especially in the winter season; however think as if your house is flooding; would you turn on the water at full blast & flood it more? By using heat that is what you are simulating, it allows an increase of blood flow to the area you are heating. If you have any swelling it is best not to use heat! When we have an acute injury our body's natural response is to increase the blood flow to that area, helping to get rid of cellular waste and start the first phases of repair. Too much inflammation causes tissue to become congested & it can also restrict oxygenated blood from reaching the muscles. To help stop the flow of blood to that area, we use ice. It is a misconception to ice only known injuries within the first 48hrs, there are other factors that should be taken into account, such as the severity/location of the injury.
Your may also want to read HOW TO ICE