Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

View Web RX

« Back

What's the optimal time to keep an ice pack on a painful knee? I've heard anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Does it make any difference?

Studies show that putting ice on the skin over the knee starts to cool the joint in the first five minutes. The cold decreases the blood flow and slows down the metabolism of the bone and muscle.

The maximum benefit from an ice pack has been measured at 20 minutes. After that the body will send more blood to the area to try and warm it up. It's usually advised to stop cold treatments after 20 minutes to avoid nerve damage and to prevent the increase in blood flow to the area.

Other studies using cold for up to one hour don't show any damage from the long cooling period. With the development of new temperature systems in the last few years, we may be able to find out more about the effects of long-term cooling.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.