The best time to use a cold compress is just after an injury happens. A bag of frozen peas or an ice pack with cloth on top will work as a compress. It is not really necessary to buy one, although one from the store can be less messy and more comfortable to use. A cold compress can be used to treat muscle aches and pains, and can even soothe a fever.
If you are experiencing muscle pain, inflamed joints, boils or other forms of inflammation which are causing discomfort, a cold compress can reduce the pain and helps you to relax naturally. Cold compresses can be mixed, with different types of essential oils for extra benefits.
Cold compresses can come in many forms and are available over the counter at your local pharmacy. They are usually kept frozen before use, so that they can be used for an hour or more at a time, for immediate therapy and relief.
A cold compress reduces swelling from an injury, by reducing the flow of blood of the affected area. This is the most important factor for healing to occur. Using a cold compress within 72 hours of bruising or swelling can have a significant impact on healing time and recovery. Use cold compresses during headaches, toothaches (by applying to cheek or jaw), sprains, muscle spasms or aches and even insect bites to relieve itching.
If the injury is below the neck, you may elevate the area, while applying the cold compress ever
30 minutes for a span of 15 to 20 minutes. Do not apply freezing cold packs directly to the skin as this can cause frost-bite. Make sure that you use a cloth as a barrier and you must allow the skin to rest if it becomes freezing. The chemicals inside an instant cold compress are water and ammonium nitrate and it works through a process, called endothermic reaction by absorbing heat.
Use two or more washcloths for larger treatment areas. Use multiple compresses with a larger bandage to prevent it from slipping out of place. Consider using different essential oils for various therapeutic properties. The plastic bag can be removed to treat swelling and general pain in the joints. Serious cases of inflammation, swelling or bruising should be handled by a licensed medical practitioner. You must keep a gel ice pack in your freezer packs and an instant ice cool pack solution for any aches and pains that you may have. So, it is always good to have an ice pack or bag on hand for any mishaps. Depending on your injury, you may want to consider hot packs too.