By far the application of ice to an injury will have the greatest effect on reducing inflammation, bleeding, swelling and pain.
You should apply ice as soon as possible after the injury has occurred.
How to apply the ice ? Crushed ice in a plastic bag is usually best but even a frozen pack of peas will do, even cold water is better than nothing at all !
When using ice one should be careful not to apply it directly to the skin so as to avoid ice burns so wrap the ice in a cloth or towel to protect the skin.
How long for and how often is a question i am constantly asked at sportsmassage4u.com
and the answer very much depends on the nature of the injury and can range from 5mins over the course of about 3 times up to 20mins every 2 hours for the first 48-72 hours, but remember seek professional advice on your injury first as this varies greatly from children to adults and will very much depend on any health conditions such as circulatory problems.
Now although there will be a slight discomfort from the cold, if you experience any excessive pain or discomfort you should stop icing at once, above all remember this is a simple first aid measure that will greatly increase your chance of recovery.
A word of warning, there are a few things that must be avoided during the first 48-72 hours after an injury, be sure to avoid using any from of heat at the site of the injury.
This includes, heat lamps, heat creams, spa's, jacuzzi's and saunas, avoid massage of the injured area and also avoid excessive alcohol, these will all cause increased bleeding, swelling and pain.