Dr. Thomas A. Harmody
A common question I get is what does ice do? When you place an ice pack on a spot on the body, your goal is to reduce inflammation of that area. This reduction in inflammation allows the body to heal the injured area more quickly than if the inflammation remains. Inflammation generally is accompanied by swelling which is caused by an excess amount of fluid called lymphatic fluid. When this fluid remains in the cells, it swells and breaks the cellular structure which causes more damage to the area. It is important to ice an injured area as quickly as possible for usually up to 3 or 4 days post-injury to help reduce the swelling and inflammation.