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St. Francis Sports Medicine Newsletter | November 2010

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November 2010



Many sports-related injuries can be treated more effectively with the immediate application of ice. Please continue reading to learn more about when to apply ice and quick tips on proper application.

Why Ice?

Injured knee? Ice it. Sprained ankle? Ice it. Sore shin? Ice it.

Ice is one of the most powerful therapies available, reducing the swelling and pain of many sports-related injuries if applied within the first 48 hours. Range of motion and strength are two vital components for an athlete and ice is the first step in returning the injured body part to normal function as quickly as possible.  

Why it Works

Sprains, strains or pulled muscles cause the diameter of blood vessels in the injured tissue to increase and become more permeable, causing internal bleeding followed by inflammation and swelling.This can lead to pain and loss of motion. When ice is applied to the tissue, the blood vessels narrow, helping to expedite recovery time by decreasing the amount of internal bleeding and inflammation at the injured site.

Quick Tips

  • It is important to ice an injury in the first 48 hours
  • Keep the injury elevated while icing to further reduce swelling
  • Ice the injury for 10-20 minutes
  • Repeat as desired, as long as the area is warm to touch and has normal sensation prior to repeating
  • During practices and games, coaches and parents should ensure that there is quick and easy access to ice.
If you have any questions concerning an athletic injury you can contact one of the certified athletic trainers from St. Francis Sports Medicine at 675-HURT.

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