How Long Should You Ice an Injury For?

Health Tips
November 30, 2022
3 Min Read
How Long Should You Ice an Injury For?

An injury might benefit from icing to lessen discomfort and swelling. There are however time restrictions on how long you should leave ice on an injured bodily area.

The use of ice on injuries is covered in this article. It also covers how to construct your ice pack and how long the ice should be applied.

How Long Do You Ice An Injury?

An injury should be treated with ice for ten minutes at a time. Applications that last longer risk harming the tissue. Each day, you can apply ice numerous times.

A usual rule is ten minutes. You might find it difficult to endure the entire ten minutes. Use the CBAN technique of icing if you're unsure of when to stop. CBAN translates to Cold, burn, ache, numb.

When to remove the ice is determined by the CBAN approach using feedback from your own body.

Ice should feel chilly when you first apply it. It should intensify into a scorching sensation. This should only go on for a short while. The region will then start to hurt. Remove the ice when the injury starts to feel numb. Regardless of how long it has been on your body, this is true.

How Many Days Should You Ice an Injury?

Ice should be applied to reduce swelling during the first two to three days following an acute injury. Heat can then be used to promote blood flow and aid the body's natural healing process. Applying heat too soon could exacerbate edema by boosting blood flow to the wound.

Important Protocol When Icing

According to several experts, you should only use ice briefly. It could be better to apply the ice for at least five minutes before removing it for at least 30. Normal blood flow will return after the ice is removed.

In addition to your doctor's advice, use ice. You can better manage your injuries if you adhere to the POLICE concept. POLICE consist of:

  • Protecting the injury
  • Optimal loading- be gentle with the injured body part
  • Ice
  • Compression using- bandage the injured area
  • Elevation, maintaining the lifted body component

There is also a similar acronym to POLICE called RICE- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is essentially the same method as the above-mentioned POLICE with the same techniques to treat an injury.

Typical Errors

Too Much Icing

Too much time spent applying ice to an injury may do more damage than help. Ice can restrict blood flow to the damaged region and hinder the healing process because it constricts the blood vessels.

Ice application on exposed skin

If used improperly, ice can harm the skin's sensitive tissues and result in frostbite. Ice packs can halt blood flow if placed on the skin for too long, even if exposure to cold might reduce pain and swelling. 5 Because of this, always put something between your skin and a bag of frozen veggies or a cold pack, like a cotton towel.


Even while it may not be required for healing, ice might make your injury feel better. Be cautious about your injury and adhere to your doctor's recommendations. Compression and keeping the region elevated may also be helpful. If you don't have any ice packs, you may manufacture your own using a plastic bag, water, and rubbing alcohol.

Not every injury is the same. While many injuries may be treated at home with ice, others do need further care such as BASS Medical. Your precise strategy should be based on the nature of your injuries and what our experts here at BASS Medical advise.