Did you know ice can cause frostbite? Just ask Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown how his feet feel. As reported in The Mercury News and in USA today Full body cryotherapy (ice) is a popular recovery method used by athletes like LeBron James. Basically, you stand in a cryotherapy chamber for roughly three minutes as temperatures drop as low as minus -11 degrees. Proper footwear is a must. Antonio Brown apparently did not have proper or covered feet and ended up with frostbite or blistered feet Now you are not necessarily going to use a cryotherapy machine – but you must be careful with ice.
Ice is good for a new injury like a sprain or strain for the first 24-72 hours. It can be used for joints that are swollen and/or warm to the touch. It is also helpful after a workout. NEVER place the ice or ice pack directly on your skin. It can burn you like frostbite. You should place a towel between the ice and your skin. Timing should be 10-20 minutes and no more. The ice reduces inflammation and pain.
If the worst happens and you get an ice burn, remove the ice pack and then warm the area gradually by using a towel soaked in warm water to gradually increase the temperature without doing any further damage. Do NOT use hot water. If blistering occurs, use an antibiotic cream and keep the area clean and moist. If your skin remains cold, hard, or numb after treatment call for medical attention immediately.
Kathryn Riley, DC
Kathryn C. Riley, D.C. is a highly skilled chiropractor working out of Silicon Valley Chiropractic in Mountain View, CA and offers a variety of the best chiropractic techniques and services that help people lead full and active lives, free from pain and stiffness. Patients living in and around the Bay Area and Silicon Valley rely on Dr. Riley to alleviate back pain, neck pain, headaches and more.