Skip to content
Patient Info

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Using Ice and Cold Packs

Topic Overview

Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions, such as arthritis.

Types of ice and cold packs

  • Ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it for 15 minutes. Remove the towel from the bag and place it on the injured or sore area.
  • Ice pack. Put about 1 lb (0.5 kg) of ice in a plastic bag or ice pack you buy at the store. Add enough water to barely cover the ice. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Wrap the bag in a wet towel and apply to the affected area.
  • Cold packs.
    • Bags of frozen peas or corn are inexpensive, last 10 to 20 minutes, and mold well to your body.
    • Mix 3 cups (710 mL) water and 1 cup (235 mL) rubbing alcohol in a freezer bag. Seal the bag and place it in the freezer until slush forms. Refreeze the bag when the slush melts.
    • You can also buy cold packs that can be reused. Store them in your freezer. Some of them are designed to wrap around an injured area, such as an arm or knee.e

Using an ice or cold pack

Apply an ice or cold pack to the injured or sore area at least 3 times a day for as long as you have pain, swelling, and inflammation. For the first 72 hours, ice for 10 minutes, once an hour. After that, use ice for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a day: in the morning, in the late afternoon after work or school, and about one-half hour before bedtime. Also, ice after any prolonged activity or vigorous exercise.

Always keep a cloth between your skin and the ice pack, and press firmly against all the curves of the affected area. Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin.

Commercial cold packs are too heavy and bulky for use on or around the eye. Be careful around the eye to prevent a chemical burn to the eye if a pack leaks.

Credits

Current as of: March 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy

Visit our new patient portal!

Davidson Family Medicine is pleased to offer accurate and convenient RAPID Covid-19 testing for our established patients.  Results within 15 minutes.

This is a simple and painless front-of-the-nose test performed by our staff at our office.  There is no need to wait in line at a CVS Minute Clinic, Urgent Care, or Emergency Room.

Examples of when to get tested:

This test is highly accurate.  It is one of only 2 antigen tests authorized by the FDA for emergency use for detection of Covid-19 antigen particles.

Accuracy of BD Veritor Rapid Covid Test

Information from the FDA About the BD Veritor Covid Test

Simply call our office to schedule.  We may require a brief virtual visit with one of our clinicians to ensure appropriateness of testing.

(We will collect any copays and otherwise will file insurance for you.  This testing is covered by most insurance plans.)

Flu shots are here!

In addition to the regular flu vaccine, we also have the extra protective flu vaccine recommended for those 65 and over.

Davidson Family Medicine will file your insurance.

To get your flu vaccine administered by trained medical staff that you know and trust, call in at 704-892-5454.

Stay healthy this flu season and get your flu vaccine.