Apply ice to inflammation

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Ice reduces inflammation. That is the reason why it needs to be used. Pretty simple.

Whether inflammation is due to a soft tissue injury or due to arthritis, ice is effective therapy.

For example, with soft tissue injury, inflammation results from migration of inflammatory cells to the site of injury. There is often localized swelling and tenderness. The region will be warm and red due to the influx of inflammatory cells and increased blood circulation to the area.

This process begins immediately after an injury, but it can take 24-72 hours for enough tissue fluid to accumulate in order to cause symptoms of pain and stiffness.

Ice should always be used immediately following an injury because it constricts blood vessels, limiting the influx of inflammatory cells, which lessens swelling, as well as reduces pain and limits bleeding.

Ice should be applied no more than 20 minutes at a time. The skin should be protected using some type of cover for the ice pack. Icing an acute injury will help with healing.

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