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5 Biggest Mistakes When Using Cold Packs To Stop Pain!

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in March of 2023. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pcbvYNhaI0&t=22s

Brad: Using cold packs can be one of the best things to work with pain and eliminate it. However, if you don't do it right or make mistakes, they just don't work well at all. We're going to show you the right way to do it.


Mike: Brad, this isn't working very well.

Brad: We'll show you. We'll show them. With over 20 years of working with patients, I've seen this first mistake happen often. People will say, well, I've got this cold pack. I use it for my lunchbox, and I put it on my knee. It's just not working well as you saw with Mike. These are not made for your body. They're made for keeping your sandwich cold. So, what you need to do is get a cold pack that conforms. Now you can make your own, we have a video on how to make it an ice pack.


Mike: It is a homemade ice pack. You'll need two bags. They work well. However, after a while, they're going to leak and start to break down. You can make more, it's inexpensive. Or you can buy one that we sell through iReliev.


Brad: Right, now sometimes store-bought ones do not work very well if they come out and they're hard and stiff. Those are no good. The iReliev cold packs do not do that, they come out very pliable. One side already has a nice cloth on it, so you don't have to put a cloth on your knee. We'll talk about that. They are a good cold pack, make sure you get a good one. I just wanted to mention that the homemade cold pack is rubbing alcohol that you can get at the store and water. The video will tell you how to make it.

Brad: Okay, the second mistake is that you need to get in a very comfortable position while you're doing it. We're going to show you three different options. If you're treating your back, this is a great way to do it. Pillows under the knees, pillow under your head. Take your cold pack, put it under your back, and just lie there for up to 15 to 20 minutes.


Mike: Second position option is to get in a recliner. Put a comfortable pillow behind your back and then you can put an ice pack right back there if you're having back pain.


Brad: Now, if you have leg pain, knee pain, or ankle pain, lift the recliner up so your leg is up. Take your cold pack. See how it wraps around the knee so nicely.


Brad: You could put it around the ankle. If it's a calf, you put it here. And then again, 15 to 20 minutes, and voila.


Brad: All right, one thing I wanted to mention is in your recliner if you've got nice, fluffy armrests, you can use them. If they don't, put pillows under your arms and take the weight off your shoulders. It's going to help everything relax up here when we're treating shoulder and neck pain. So, Mike is in the position, comfortable. You can take your cold pack, pinch it between the shoulder blade and the back of the chair and leave it over the shoulder. That'll prevent the cold pack from falling. Cold packs on the shoulder are always hard. They always want to fall, but that will prevent that.


Brad: If it's upper neck or neck pain, get a cold pack like this skinny one. Wrap it around the side of your neck and then when you lean back if you have a recliner with a headrest and it'll stay right in there very nicely. I've done this many times. You can do the back of the neck, all over wherever you would like to do it. It's a wonderful thing to use cold packs when you use them properly. We also found out that if you have a migraine headache, you can cool down the carotid artery. If it's on the left side, you put that cold pack there and that can be a wonderful way to remedy and eliminate that migraine.


Mike: Mistake number three is putting an ice pack directly on your skin no matter where it is. You want to be cautious of a bony area, like say your kneecap as well. What you want to do is you can put your ice pack in just a pillowcase. Or if you have thicker pants, just roll them down. It'll work as well and just cover it up. Put a little barrier in between there.


Brad: Right, and one thing, if you get a nice cold pack like the iReliev, it does have a cloth barrier on one side that you can use without the cloth pillowcase. So, make sure, if in doubt, to put the pillowcase there or the cloth towel and be safe. You can frostbite your skin.


Mike: But Brad, this is still feeling too cold, and I have a little layer in there.


Brad: That's mistake number four is if you haven't used them before there's a chill factor that you need to get through. Now, if you feel cold like that, simply put on a towel so it's not so cold and you'll adapt to it. Eventually, you want to get that extra towel off to cool it down more and then you'll feel it very nicely. It's a good feeling once you get used to that and you'll look forward to it eventually.


Mike: Mistake number five is not leaving the cold pack on long enough. Recent research has said at least 10 minutes but historically Brad and I were taught 15 to 20 minutes is perfectly fine.


Brad: The nice thing about a cold pack is if you leave it on too long, they simply warm up and they're not cold anymore. So, there's really no damage or harm to be done.


Mike: Yeah, so just throw them on, go about your day, do your work, and then just take them off when they're warm.


Brad: That's right. So once again, cold packs are good for anything except for like we say “we can cure anything except for…”


Mike: A broken heart.


Brad: A broken heart and yeah cold packs aren't going to work for that.


Mike: I'll try it out.


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