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The Use Of Ice Packs For Injuries

1249 words - 5 pages

Athletes have come to be best friends with ice. Injuries occur all the time when you are playing sports. We are taught that the first step to treating an injury is to apply ice to the pain. The only problem is you don’t always have direct access to ice. We have solved this issue by creating instant ice packs. These are made of a mixture of chemicals and water. My question is which brand of ice pack works the best? Do the ones containing Ammonium Nitrate work better than those containing Urea, or vice versa? Is just keeping a cooler of ice a better option?
Icing a small injury can be a very effective short term treatment. Cold treatments decrease swelling, numb pain, and can limit internal bleeding. Icing doesn’t have to last for a specific time and depending on the injury and person the length of your icing should vary. One way I know when to be done icing is CBAN. C stands for cooling. You should first feel the coolness. Next will come the burning and the aching. Finally you should feel numb. The numbness is the key that you can remove the coolant. Even after the icing has been completed you continue to get benefits. “Intramuscular temperature continues to drop after the modality has been removed. Results of various studies are consistent on the effects on neuromuscular and pain process”, (Meeusen R, Livens P, 1986). When an injury occurs you also should always remember RICE. Rice stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest helps keeping the injured body part from overworking and straining ever more. The ice, as said before has many benefits, and can even help the injury heal faster. Compression will keep most swelling down as well as giving support to the injury. Finally Elevation is another way to keep swelling down. If at all possible you want to keep the trauma area above your heart. This allows the blood to flow back to the heart more easily.
Although, there comes an issue with the need to ice your injury. Ice is not always readily available when you are at a sporting event. Thankfully entrepreneurs have discovered a way for us to access a substance that does the same job as ice would. One way to have access to ice no matter the place or temperature is instant ice packs. Instant ice packs are small and portable. Inside each ice pack is water and either Ammonium Nitrate or Urea. To activate an ice pack you simply hit it or bend it to break the small chamber wall, combining the water and chemicals to create a chemical reaction and make cold. Up until very recently all ice packs were made containing Ammonium Nitrate. Some companies have switched over to using Urea because it is much less hazardous to the human body. Some companies have begun to use Ammonium Chloride as well. Ice packs containing different ingredients may be impossible to tell the difference from by looking at without studying the ingredients or by opening the bag up. Ammonium Nitrate is a light gray to light brown color, while Urea is a light yellow color....

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