Icing Strategies for Any Situation

iceWhen you are injured, ice is like frozen liquid gold. As an essential treatment for most injuries, ice is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation when you have a muscle tear, sprain or strain. It even helps with tendonitis. Here are a few ways you may have never heard of to get some ice on what’s ailing you.

The Bucket

This method is exactly what you think it is. Fill a bucket with ice and water then submerge the injured area into the water. Keep it in for two minutes (you can do it!) and the initial sensation will fade into a numbing feeling. Try to soak for 15 minutes but never more than 20 minutes. This is a great method because the water pressure also compresses the injured area. Compression is another superb way to treat a sports injury.

Time for Your Veggies

The frozen bag of peas is the tried and true treatment method of college students everywhere. Just place a bag of frozen veggies (it doesn’t have to be peas) on the injured area. Small veggies like peas work well because they are small and able to kind of mold around the injured area. A word to the wise: if you use the bag more than once to treat an injury, don’t use them for dinner!


Cans of frozen juice are perfect for treating injuries to the feet and legs. Put the can on the ground and roll your foot over it. This can help with conditions like plantar fasciitis, or any other injury to the foot or heel.

The Dixie Cup

If you have a small area that needs icing, a Dixie cup is perfect. Fill it with water and place it in the freezer. When it’s done freezing, peel the cup back and so that just the top is exposed and rub it over the injured area, holding the end still covered in paper. As it melts, continue to pull back the paper. The pressure you apply with this method can also help to boost the healing process.


You can make your own frozen gel pack by filling a freezer bag with one part rubbing alcohol and three parts water. Seal the bag and place it into another bag to keep it from leaking, then freeze it. Once it’s been used you can refreeze it and reuse it many times. Plus, the slushy result of the alcohol and water creates a gel substance that can mold around your injuries.

The Ice-Man Cometh

If you’re a traveling man (or woman), carry a few heavy duty freezer bags with you. In the event that you get an injury, you can usually find an airline or restaurant that will fill the bag with ice for you.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Bryce Bradford

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.