Using ice/cold packs to treat an injury can have very positive results.  The decreases in inflammation, swelling and pain can be very rapid and significant.  The most important thing to keep in mind when using any type of cold pack is to limit the use to no more than 15 minutes every two hours to the same body part.  The therapeutic value does not increase by leaving it on longer than that.  In fact, the only things that can happen by keeping it on longer are bad.  Two of the most likely problems are frostbite and nerve damage.  All skin is susceptible to frostbite while severe nerve damage can happen in parts of the body where larger nerves are close to the skin, e.g., the knee.  To reduce the chances of making things worse, limit the application time to no more than 15 minutes and place a thin towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin.  If you have any questions about what you should or should not do following an injury, be sure to seek the advice of a licensed professional.  Marcum Chiropractic has multiple providers that have years of experience helping thousands of patients.  Call them at 503-235-7130 for excellent care!

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