Cold therapy is one of the methods that have been practiced for centuries and sometimes we may be left to wonder whether if it was the first such invented means to repair our body. It works on one simple principle and that is of “cold”. A cold temperature cuts of the blood circulations and makes the blood constrict. This also minimizes the bleeding in any injury and dulls the pain. These symptoms are majorly felt during the initial 48 hours period of an injury after which the body starts the repair process. Cold therapy helps your body in this initial 48 hours where the injury or pain is maximum. Also, the cold effect numbs your nerves and hence the area which has got affected can experience anesthetized sensations. Cold packs are easily available in the drug store, but sometimes it is better to make one of our own and keep it handy. Cold packs need not consist of only water. We can alternate it many different ways. We have given out some different ways to make a cold therapy or a cold compress, which can be easily done at home. Try them out.
Some Simple DIY Homemade Cold Therapy Methods You Should Try:
1. Ice Compress
This is probably the most simplest of cold therapy that you can get done at your home. This is efficient and is mostly used as the first line of defense in any injury or cramps. Take a fresh towel and put a few ice cubes into it. Wrap it and press and compress it on the injured region. Feel the numbness of ice on your skin and take it off. Instead of using a towel you can also use a clean plastic bag, however, wrap the bag with a clean watered cloth before pressing it.
2. Towel Compress
There are many instances when ice may not be available. In those cases, the towel pack or the towel compress is the best option. This option is also best used on your sensitive parts like eyes and back of your neck. Pour some cold water on a towel or place a towel under running cold water. Wring it and squeeze out the water. Now roll it a plastic cover and keep it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Do not freeze the towel and after 15 minutes take out the bag and apply on the affected region.
3. Rubbing Alcohol Compress
Mostly these types of compresses are used in hospitals, but you can make one right in your home. This type is even more effective as the rubbing alcohol manages the freezing point when the water gets chilled. Also, in this type, the rubbing alcohol turns out into a gel like substance – thus providing the compress with more flexibility. Mix rubbing alcohol with water in the ratio of 1:3 i.e. for a half a container of rubbing alcohol; use one and a half container of water. Mix well and pour it in a zip-lock plastic bag. Keep it in the freezer for a few hours. It is ready to use in the affected region now. In case the pack is extremely cold, place a thin cloth on the affected region and keep the compress.
4. Salt Compress
Salt can retain the chillness of water for longer duration and is also beneficial in minimizing the pain symptoms in your body. Also, the water does not turn to ice quickly when you use water. Take a cup of water and add a tablespoon of salt to it. Stir well and pour into a zip lock bag. Now, keep it in a freezer for a few hours and start using it. Wrap the bag with a piece of cloth before using it.
5. Corn Syrup Compress
This type of compress can be given a shot when you need the pack to be extremely flexible. For example, in case you have intentions of keeping them near your face or your head region, you would require them to be flexible. Also, corn syrup retains its temperature for a long duration. Take some fresh corn syrup and pour into a zip lock. The thicker the syrup, the better. Allow it a few hours in a freezer. Now use them by wrapping a thin cloth on top of the bag on the affected region. Alternatively, you can try this out using a thick dish wash liquid.
6. Sponge Compress
Sponge compress is like a gel compress and has the same qualities of them. They are also flexible and extremely easy to use. Take an unsoiled kitchen sponge and drench it in water. Put it in a zip lock and place it a freezer for 2 hours. Since sponge absorbs the cold quickly, you do not have to keep them in the freezer for long durations. Take them out and let it thaw for a few minutes in the room temperature. This is done so that the sponge gets its flexibility back. Then use it on the affected region.
Also never apply such ice packs directly on the skin as they might damage the tissues. Use a plastic wrap or a thin cloth on the surface of your skin and apply the compress. Also, the best method to use these would be to compress them on the affected region for about 10 minutes, take it off and let the muscles relax for a few minutes, then press it again. Repeat this for about 4 to 5 times or till the area numbs.