Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ice Massage

Font Size

Topic Overview

Ice can help decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation that can result from injury and from some conditions such as arthritis. Ice massage is a quick and easy way to get the benefits of ice.

You can use an ice cube, but it's easier to use an "ice cup" for ice massage.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Pain Management: Support

Suffering from arthritis or joint pain? Share how you get by, day to day -- or get support here. Chronic Pain Support Group  

Read the Pain Management: Support article > >

  • To make an ice cup, fill a small paper or foam cup about two-thirds full, and freeze it until it is solid.
  • To use the ice cup, peel off the top of the cup so about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) of ice is showing. The remaining part of the cup is for you to hold on to.
  • As the ice melts, it will drip, so put a small towel under the area you are icing.
  • Rub the ice in small circles all over the affected area. Avoid areas where the bone is close to the skin, such as right over your kneecap, the point of your elbow, or your spine. Some people also find it is more comfortable to put a moisture barrier such as a section of plastic bag over the area, so the ice is not directly touching the skin. To try this, hold the plastic in place with one hand and rub the ice over it with the other hand.
  • If the ice melts down so the cup is touching your skin, peel more of the cup off.
  • Continue for about 7 to 10 minutes. The area will feel cold at first, then it may burn, then ache, then finally become numb. Your skin will be pink and cold when you finish.
  • You can do an ice massage several times a day if it helps you.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.