Apply it just after an injury
(HealthDay News) -- Cold therapy helps alleviate pain and swelling caused by sprains, strains and the like by reducing blood flow to the affected area.
The University of Rochester Medical Center in New York offers these guidelines:
- Use cold therapy within 24 to 48 hours of an injury -- such as bruises, bumps, sprains or strains.
- Wrap an ice or gel pack in a thin towel before applying to the area.
- Do not leave the cold pack on the area for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and take 10-minute breaks between applications.