Story by: Alex Welch on December 16, 2021
How long to ice an injury depends on when you were injured and the severity of the injury.
If swelling and inflammation last more than 48 hours, you may have a more serious injury. Do not ignore it. If you are experiencing continued tenderness, inflammation or redness, it’s time to see a health care provider.
If you think you may have broken a bone, you’ll want to see a health care provider.
Ignoring joint pain can lead to serious wear and tear on your body. Catching your joint pain early can help prevent long-term effects on your joint health. Your pain also may be signaling an underlying condition, like arthritis.
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“Joint pain is an indicator of your body experiencing a high level of external stress, said Robin G. Curry, M.D., orthopedic and sports medicine specialist with Norton Orthopedic Institute and Norton Sports Health. “Ignoring your pain may have serious effects on your mobility long term.”
Start by applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. Over-icing can lead to stiffness and poor circulation. Allow 30 to 40 minutes between each time you ice your injury.
Use the RICE method for home treatments on injured joints.
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