Phoenix Mercury athletic trainer Tamara Poole offers advice on how to ice an injury and discusses how long you should apply the ice.
The only thing you really have to worry about with icing is icing near a nerve and some nerves are very close to the skin and they can be injured by the ice.
The amount of time that you should ice is about 15 minutes. If you have a fresh injury I would say a little longer.
If Tan’s knee is acting up I am going to ice maybe up to 30 minutes because I am going to ice until when I take that ice off it actually feels cold.
On a new injury you can have so much blood flow there that 15 minutes of ice doesn’t actually cool it down and the thing about the nerve is that ice can actually penetrate into your body about two to two-and-half inches deep. So you have to be careful around the nerves.
The heat, on the other hand, when people get burnt up in real life, it’s only the outside. It isn’t deep unless something else is transpired.
So the heat is only vassal dilating the outside and if the injury is fresh it’s just going to cause more and more and more swelling to that area which is bad.
If we can control swelling we control pain and we get better quicker.
A veteran of athletic training and sports medicine in women’s professional sports, Tamara Poole is the Phoenix Mercury’s Head Athletic Trainer. Just the second head trainer in Mercury history, Poole acts as a medical liaison with the team’s medical and organizational staff, focusing on injury prevention and management.