In 2020, Oprah fell on stage at a Weight Watchers event. She made headlines, and memes. The very next day, Oprah posted a picture of her sporting an ice pack wrapped around her leg. She called it self-care Sunday. Oprah knows that the best option for acute pain relief is a quality ice pack; we think so too.
What is your go-to solution when you scrape your knee or bump your head? We hope it’s an ice pack, because that is proven to be your best option.
Ice packs have always been known for their ability to relieve pain. How do they reduce pain? An ice pack relieves pain and reduces inflammation by cooling the tissues beneath the skin. It also reduces nerve conduction and blood vessel constriction. All of these factors contribute to pain relief.
Today, we will tell you everything you need to know about ice packs, from their types to their applications.
Types of Ice Packs
There are many different ready-made ice packs that contain different components to them depending on what type of care you need. The following are the common types of ice packs:
Reusable Gel Ice Packs
Gel ice packs are very versatile. These packs have been made to fit into any mold or crook in your body. The gel they contain is very fluid, allowing the ice pack to be applied in many different parts of the body.
Gel ice packs are also great at maintaining their coldness. Take one out of the freezer, and two hours later, it has not even lost half of its coldness. This makes it easy for you to use these packs for long periods, at reasonable intervals. But if you need them to retain their temperature, it is best to know that the option is always available.
At Hampton Admas, we use fast flex gel, which is more efficient and better at maintaining its fluidity after freezing. This gel also does not take long to freeze. This means you can easily activate it in a short number of hours.
Another important thing to note about gel ice packs is that they are reusable. You can reuse these ice packs over and over again, and you can even use them as heat packs by heating them.
Clay Ice Packs
These ice packs are probably the next best option after gel ice packs when it comes to an indoor application that does not involve emergencies. Because of their content, clay packs take longer to freeze.
Clay may require about five to six hours to hold very cold. Also, the whole pack may just dry up if you accidentally place it in direct sunlight. Barring these little cons, clay ice packs are good options for pain relief.
Clay packs are good at maintaining their coldness for a long time because of the density of their particles. They are also quite fluid in their form, even after freezing. This means they can conform to different parts of the body too.
The best part about these clay packs; they are made with non-toxic, environmentally-friendly substances. With this, you can be certain that reactions and allergies are pretty much eradicated.
Instant Cold Packs
These ice packs are the kings of emergencies because they do not need freezing. To activate these ice packs, just give them a shake and the cold will be activated. This is possible because of the chemical substances they contain, which react with each other once you shake the pack.
Just as these ice packs get cold quickly, they also lose their coldness quickly. This is why they are only best for emergencies and temporary applications.
Instant ice packs lack versatility and conformity. They usually can not fit irregular parts of the body. Moreover, they are not reusable. They are, however, efficient, portable, and perfect for your first-aid box. If you want to learn more about life-saving methods and skills, then check out CPR and First Aid Nepean.
Homemade Ice Packs
Of course, you can also make your ice packs if you are big on DIY. For your homemade ice packs, the two basic things you need are freezer bags and a freezer.
Two common ingredients used for a DIY ice pack are salt and water. As you know, normal water becomes hard after freezing. Adding salt will help prevent that and help your ice pack retain a slush-like consistency. This is for conformity.
You can also use the insides of a diaper with water, alcohol, rice grains, or corn syrup. Just put all of these ingredients in a freezer and refrigerate them for a few hours. Then, you have an ice pack.
How to Properly Apply An Ice Pack: The Dos and Don’ts
There are some things you need to know before placing that freezing pack on your skin:
- Always wrap your ice pack in a clean towel. Applying an ice pack directly to your skin is dangerous because it can cause frostbite and, when left on for too long, can affect your nerve endings.
Wrap the pack in a clean towel first. You may use a warm towel to help your body slowly get accustomed to the cold rather than lowering the temperature suddenly, which can lead to tension in your muscles. Wrapping also helps to increase efficiency.
- Never apply an ice pack for too long. You shouldn’t apply an ice pack for more than fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. This is for the same reason you should not apply bare ice to the skin; it can cause quite a lot of damage. It is enough to apply an ice pack for fifteen to twenty minutes every hour or two. This allows your skin to return to its original temperature and, if necessary, gives you time to refreeze your ice pack.
- Never assume that an ice pack alone is enough to treat you completely. An ice pack may reduce pain and inflammation, but complete healing only comes when you combine it with other forms of therapy. An easy one for mild injuries is the RICE process- Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Do not apply ice to a bloody open wound. This is unhygienic and ineffective. It may even cause an infection. Clean and dress up a wound first before applying ice.
- If you are dealing with conditions like diabetes or cancer, check with your doctor to confirm whether you can use an ice pack. These conditions may affect your nerves such that you won’t notice any possible damage that an ice pack may have caused.
Alternatives to ice packs for pain relief include taping, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, steroid injections, and surgery.
Hampton Adams Reusable Gel Ice Pack
At Hampton Adams, we have produced a reusable gel ice pack that is made to serve you. With our ice pack’s fast flex gel, you never have to worry about inefficiency or discomfort. The gel also freezes fast but does not lose coldness very quickly. Our ice pack retains their slush form after freezing, which means their conformity is top-notch. You can easily wrap them around any part of your body.
If you have any further questions about ice packs and their uses or types, send them to our customer service here at Hampton Adams. We are always ready to answer your questions. We hope you consider purchasing your next ice pack from Hampton Adams!