Thought I'd share what my physio told me about icing an injury since I had it very, very wrong and perhaps others also are 'icing' wrong.

She said ice short, ice often. Ice until it's pink, not white. White means frostbite (which as a Canadian I honestly didn't think you could get with an ice pack).

Happy running folks. Hopefully I'll be out again next week.

9 Replies

  • White? ????? And I thought my pink was bad!!!!

    I had a suspicion that I wasn't ice'ing often enough. Did she say how short was short (in minutes not feet)? :)


  • No - I have an appointment on Tuesday. I'll try and remember to ask, but when I was in there it was probably about 10 minutes on my knee (wasn't wearing a watch). She said that some folks do damage by strapping an icepack to their legs for hours, which both horrified and amazed me. I'm glad it's short - I hate ice. She also stressed icing right after a run for my issue.

  • That's useful thanks. I've been doing 15 to 30 minutes post shower. I might try a shorter stint pre shower.

  • That's not very useful for me as a Scotsman. I am white by default :)

    Standard advice appears to be ten minutes on the affected area 3 times a day.

  • Ooch. Three times a day eh? That's much more often than I've been doing. I was hoping 'often' was less than that. But I guess that's the problem with interpreting any unpleasant instructions as you see fit :)

  • My chiro told me to forget the clock, as we are all different, and follow this acronym CBAN: Cold, Burn, Ache, then Numb. When the area feels numb, it is time to remove the ice pack. As for how many times per day, she said to allow one hour following numbing before reapplying ice, so many times, really. Also, always place some thin fabric between ice pack and skin! Oh! And after 72 hours, heat needs to be applied instead of ice!

  • Ten minutes is what I have read and always with some fabric between the ice/peas or whatever and your skin. ViaM's advice sounds sensible. My physio said that after 72 hrs you can alternate heat and cold, which stimulates blood flow, without the risk of secondary tissue damage by too much blood supply.

  • Is that 72 hours after running? Or after the initial injury?

  • He was talking about my injury, but it wasn't a formal consultation and he hadn't given a precise diagnosis, so I took the advice as being general and he said three to four days after the initial injury.

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