Ice therapy is an important part of the rehabilitation of an inflamed area. The ice serves three purposes:
- Reduces swelling of injured tissues
- Tightens the ligaments that hold the joints together
- Reduces pain
Apply the ice directly to the painful area for 15 minutes every hour. Continue this routine for six (6) consecutive hours. Completely rest for two (2) hours. After completing the initial treatment, repeat for another six hours. This manner of icing should be performed for twenty-four hours. During the second 24-hr. period, along with the ice therapy, mild exercise is introduced into the injured area with intention of increasing circulation in order to help eliminate post trauma debris and inaugurate the flow of nutrients needed to promote healing and repair.
For lumbar disc and sacroiliac joint problems, sitting for prolonged time must be avoided. The seated position puts a large strain on the lower spine that is in the process of healing. The patient must lie down unless otherwise instructed.
Sensations to Expect
Very cold, followed by increased pain in the area, then a burning or throbbing, and lastly numbness and reduced pain.