6 Simple Tips for Using an Ice Bath for Injury Recovery

6 Simple Tips for Using an Ice Bath for Injury Recovery

While the initial thought of taking an ice bath may seem intimidating to some people reading this, the truth is that an ice bath can have many therapeutic benefits. All you need to do is watch a sports event – whether it’s boxing, body building, MMA, triathlon, or more – and chances are that you’ll see an athlete settling down into a tub of icy, therapeutic water. At Frontline ER, we know that ice baths can help in injuries and illness treatment in Dallas.

The Benefits of Ice Therapy to Prevent a Trip to the Emergency Room in Dallas

The science behind ice bath therapy is simple. The temperature helps constrict blood vessels which will then flush out waste product and prevent tissue breakdown. Then, as the body starts to warm up again, blood flow is increased which in turn jump-starts the body’s natural healing process. This is the same methodology that’s used when an ice-pack is applied to a particular area of the body; but an ice bath can treat a larger area – the whole body – in one submersion!

Following are six tips to incorporate at home if you’d like to try this form of ice therapy for yourself:

At-Home Ice Therapy Treatment for the Whole Body

  1. Fill your bath tub with warm water first. Then dump the ice into it. It is far easier to be in the tub and add the ice than it is to submerge yourself into a bath of ice cubes!
  2. Because you’ll be adding a little ice at a time, keep the ice bags close to the tub so you can just reach out and grab more ice as you need it without having to worry about re-submerging your body.
  3. Make sure you have a timer nearby. You should never plan to spend in excess of 15 minutes in the cold therapy. You can vary your time between 8-15 minutes to determine which segment of time works best for you.
  4. Since you’ll only be submerged from the waist down, it’s recommended that you wear a fleece or other warm article of clothing on your upper torso to prevent excessive shivering.
  5. When it’s time to exit your ice bath, your first inclination might be to jump into a warm shower, but you should resist this urge since the best healing occurs when your body temperature rises naturally.
  6. If you are not able to tolerate letting your body come up in temperature on its own, you can take a warm – not hot – shower.

The Takeaway

Many athletes – both professional and amateur – have avoided having to visit an ER in Dallas by at first trying ice bath therapy. If you still feel that your body has not recovered fully after your at-home treatment, seeking medical advice is a good second action plan.