Any injury like sprain, strain or even bruises can be very painful and needs instant attention. One of the commonest and easily available things to treat them is available right in your freezer and that is ice pack. Even your packet of frozen peas can become one in case of emergency.
All injuries resulting from strain, sprain or bruises cause bleeding in the underlying tissues and that is why you find that the injured spot has swelled and is paining. Ice packs are recommended for instant treatment and also for recovering in the later stage.
In the initial stage ice helps to stop bleeding in the underlying tissues, reduce swelling and muscle spasms and also reduce pain by making the injured area numb. Instant use of ice pack on a fresh injury helps to control swelling. This also helps to stop the area from getting stiff from the release of tissue fluids.
Apart from instant and immediate treatment, ice pack is also used during the recovery stages. It is often used along with exercises and has proved to enhance the effects of the treatments. This is because using ice on the affected area numbs the place. This in turn lessens the feel of pain. So the patient can do the exercise more freely resulting in faster recovery.
Since you need to rub ice on the injury constantly, put some oil over the injured area and then rub the ice. Place a piece of flannel over the oil if you are using ice directly. This will not be needed if you are using plastic. But do not put oil on open wound or over stitches. In such cases, cover the area with plastic and then rub ice over it. This will prevent the place from getting wet.
After every 5 or 6 minutes, check the skin to see if the area has turned pink or red. If it has, then give a gap for about a minute till the color returns to normal and then rub ice for another 5 minutes. Continue this for about 20 to 30 minutes and no more. Pressing the pack gently on the affected area improves the effect.
Warning: Never use ice pack on the left shoulder of a person who is suffering from heart ailments and also never use ice packs on the front and back of the neck.