Reusable frozen "peas" to ice an injury
If you have ever used frozen peas to ice an injury, you know how they start to clump after a while from being thawed and re-frozen so many times. CVS has just started to carry a line of reusable "peas" which can be frozen over and over and conform to your body part just like peas do. Why use peas? They wrap around the injured area better than ice cubes, and can be more convenient than doing an ice massage (freezing a Dixie cup of ice, tearing off the top and turning it upside down, then continuously massaging the area for 10-15 minutes). It is also much quicker than having to draw up an ice bath, and wastes less water.
The retail price is around $7-12, as opposed to $2.50 for a bag of frozen peas. They will last longer though so it seems to be a better purchase for the long run.
Why ice an injury?
Icing an injured body part is an important part of treatment. Icing injuries can be very effective for sprains, strains, overuse injuries and even bruises. Icing should be done carefully to avoid frostbite. Never use an ice bag or chemical ice pack without a thin towel next to your skin.
How long should you ice?
Set a timer and do not ice longer than 15 minutes. You can actually cause further damage to the tissue by icing too long. It is recommended to ice an injury more than once a day, as long as your skin has returned to its normal temperature before applying ice again. If you are using a chemical ice pack, it will need 1-2 hours in the freezer to get cold enough to be effective anyway.
When should you ice?
Icing is most effective in the immediate period following an injury. The effect of icing diminishes significantly after 36-48 hours. If you are doing maintanence-icing, icing that is done to keep swelling down between workouts which professional athletes and endurance athletes must do, do it at the end of your day or immediately following your post-workout cool-down.