CRUSHED ICE BAG VS. COLD WATER IMMERSION October 12 2015
A recent report by Rupp, etal. (2012) compared the cryogentic effects of crushed ice bag versus cold water immersion. The results demonstrate that both methods work equally well in decreasing tissue temperature and there was no statistical difference in the amount of time required to cause a decrease of 8 degrees Celsius. The significance of this study lies in the time required for the tissue to return to normal temperature. Specifically, the tissue that was cooled via cold-water immersion remained cooler significantly longer, which translated clinically, suggests that cold-water immersion would decrease the amount of secondary cell injury as compared to ice pack applications. The longer rewarming time is likely due to cooling the tissue 360 degrees around the entire limb as compared to the ice bag application, which cools unidirectional (Rupp etal, 2012). This entire limb cooling becomes important especially in the acute ankle injuries; because many moderate to severe lateral ankle sprains result in soft tissue on the medial side of the ankle.
This post was contributed by Professor Lennart Johns at Quinnipiac University.