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3 Common Mistakes When Using an Ice Pack

Using an Ice Pack

Ice packs are exactly what they sound like—a pack of any substance capable of withholding cold. This substance is usually gel or a combination of water and some chemicals for pre-made ice packs. In every household, ice packs have become one of the necessary items to be found in a first-aid box.

Ice packs or cold packs are typically used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy, massage, and/or medication. They can be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to help reduce swelling, and inflammation and soothe the affected area. When choosing a cold pack for back pain, it's important to find one that is comfortable and fits the body's contours.

You may have also wondered whether you are applying them in the right ways. Regarding that, there are so many common mistakes you may have been making while applying an ice pack. Today, you will learn about these mistakes and how to avoid them.

The Different Types of Ice Packs

  • Gel Ice Packs

Gel packs are, arguably, the king of ice packs, and this is not just because they can be used, alternatively, as heat packs. These types of ice packs often contain different types of gel, which can retain cold and manage to retain their fluid form even after freezing. An ice pack's ability to display these attributes varies from brand to brand. The fast-flex gel used by Hampton Adams makes this easier and more efficient.

Gel ice packs need an adequate amount of freezing which is why they are not the best options for emergencies unless you are at home and it has been in the refrigerator for a while. The very best part about gel ice packs is their reusability; all you have to do is take proper care of them and keep freezing. They also come in different shapes and sizes, giving them the impressive ability to mold to various body parts.

  • Clay Ice Packs

Naturally, clay is heavy; on the floor or as a pot, it is always heavy; clay ice packs are no different. This weight is one of the downsides to these ice packs, making it uncomfortable for you to carry them around. In addition, the weight and dense arrangement of its particles mean that it will take longer for it to freeze, although it also means that it may maintain the temperature longer than other types of ice packs.

For the same reason, clay ice packs are also unsuitable for emergencies. The upside of these packs is that they are made of non-toxic, natural substances, which significantly lowers any risk of reactions or allergies. They also retain a soft, squishy form that comes in handy during application to irregular body parts. Clay packs can dry up and become solid if placed in direct heat or sunlight for a long time.

  • Instant Cold Packs

Instant cold packs are really just everything they sound like—instant, efficient but temporary, short-term solutions. These packs contain a set of chemicals that combine to produce cold when shaken. Instant cold packs lack versatility (can not be used as heat packs) and are not reusable, but they are best for emergencies. They do not require freezing, just some vigorous shaking, and your ice packs are ready to go.

Instant cold packs can not maintain their temperature for too long, and they usually come in just one shape and size. Instant cold packs are best kept around for emergencies and one-time use. They are light and easy to carry around.

  • Homemade Ice Packs

Homemade ice packs are the next best alternatives when you are trying to cut down costs. There are several ways of making ice packs with readily available ingredients in your home. The first one is the use of good old water but with some salt. The salt helps the water to maintain the slush consistency even after freezing. Get a freezer bag, fill it with water, add some salt to it, and watch your DIY ice pack come out perfect or somewhere near perfect.

Other ingredients you can use for ice packs are corn syrup, rice grains, diapers, alcohol, etc. For each option, the process is the same. Put your ingredients in the freezer bag and put it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while. Rice grain ice packs can also work as heat packs.

Homemade ice packs may not be as effective as pre-made ones, but they work.

3 Common Mistakes When Using an Ice Pack

  1. Placing Ice Packs Directly on the Skin

When the bump on your head is burning with pain and swelling by the second, all you want to do is quench it all with the cold of an ice pack. It is understandable, but it can be dangerous. Endeavor to wrap the ice pack in a towel or paper towel. This is to prevent your skin from going numb and your blood freezing. Putting an ice pack directly on your skin without any barrier can cause any of the conditions above and even frostbite.

  1. Applying an Ice Pack for Too Long

Keeping an ice pack on your skin can cause irreversible damage. Conditions like nerve damage, skin damage, or disruption of blood flow can be caused by prolonged usage of an ice pack; most of these problems are irreversible. An ice pack can do its job within fifteen to twenty minutes; anything longer than that may count as prolonged usage unless prescribed by a professional.

  1. Using Ice Packs Without Other Forms of Treatment

An ice pack cannot treat a whole injury by itself. It needs to be combined with rest and elevation sometimes. An injury may even require a visit to the doctor and some other forms of therapy. Even if it seems like a minor injury, rest is something you can never go amiss with when trying to make a quick recovery. Icing may reduce pain and inflammation, but you may also need elevation and rest for proper circulation.

Proper Application of an Ice Pack

Cryotherapy—the use of ice packs for treatment—is all the rage nowadays. This popularity does not go unjustified when you look at how a cold lump can safely and successfully relieve you of pain and reduce inflammation in your injuries.

Ice packs carry out this process by cooling the tissues beneath the skin of the body part where they are placed. This cooling slows down the metabolism of said tissues, constricts their blood vessels, and reduces nerve conduction. These all lead to pain relief. They can also help to decrease muscle spasms and relax tense muscles.

Heat packs may be best for pains caused by stiff and bad posture, but ice packs are the perfect options for recent acute injuries.

Wrap the ice pack in a clean towel before application to allow your muscles to adapt slowly and prevent them from tensing up. It will also help the ice pack to retain its coldness for much longer, thereby increasing efficiency. Moreover, wrapping is necessary if you want to avoid frostbite.

You can apply the ice for ten minutes per hour or twenty minutes every two hours. Do not apply ice packs for more than twenty minutes, in fact, ten to fifteen minutes are already enough. After this time, it is possible that the ice pack would have even melted, especially if it is not up to standard. One of the brands that make ice packs to unbeatable standards is Hampton Adams; our use of fast-flex gel means that our packs can maintain their temperature as required.

During these intervals, you can refreeze the ice pack. New ice packs should be kept in the refrigerator for about three to six hours. If you haven't used your ice packs in a while, you can take them out of the refrigerator for cleaning and defrosting before putting them back.

Certain conditions like diabetes, cancer, meningitis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis may prevent you from using ice packs. Consult your doctor if you are dealing with any of these conditions to find out whether ice packs are safe for you.

Hampton Adams Reusable Gel Ice Pack

Our reusable ice pack at Hampton Adams is made of fast-flex gel, which keeps its soft, squishy form even after freezing. This is why it can fit any part of the body. You can easily wrap the pack around your neck, ankles, or trunk. It is comfortable and relaxing.

The fabric that our fast-flex gel comes in is not itchy, scratchy, or sticky. It does not stick to wounds or cause reactions. Furthermore, it is double-embossed at the seams, which means you do not have to worry about the gel leaking out. It also does not contain toxic materials that can lead to allergic reactions or contaminate the food in your refrigerator. Our ice pack is durable and strong. It can also retain its temperature for a long time.

You can consult our customer service at Hampton Adams for further information about ice packs. You can also visit our page to get affordable and efficient leak-free gel ice packs.

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