Cold Treatment


R.I.C.E Cold Treatment

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Used as soon as possible after an injury such as a sprain or strain Ice (cold) is excellent for relieving pain, reducing swelling and promoting faster healing


rest first aid

Image source

Stop all activity and rest the injury or body area that is sore. If there is an obvious fracture, sprain, burn, or any other type of injury see the appropriate first aid treatment protocol.


ice first aid

Image source

  • To reduce pain and swelling wrap ice, or a cold pack in a cloth (never put cold or heat directly on the skin) and place it over the injury
  • For the first 72 hours apply cold for ten minutes once every hour, then for 10 to 20 minutes three or four times a day for two or three days
  • When the swelling has gone you may apply heat to the area to help increase circulation and enhance the healing process


compression first aid

Image source

Wrapping the affected body part in an elastic bandage can help support the injury and may reduce pain and swelling. Be careful not to wrap the bandage too tight.

Signs That The Bandage May be Too Tight

May include tingling sensations, numbness, increased swelling, cool and pale below the bandage. If any of these are present loosen the bandage


elevation first aid

Image source

If possible try and keep the injury at or above your heart level, this will slow fluids to the injured area and help alleviate pain and swelling. If not, elevate the injury as much as you can whilst still being comfortable. You may place pillows or something similar under the injury.


Ice And Cold Packs


Ice Towel

Wet a towel and wring it out so it is just damp, place it in a plastic bag and freeze the towel for around fifteen minutes, then apply to the injured area.


Ice Pack

Put some ice into a strong plastic bag and add enough water to just cover the ice. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and make sure it is well sealed, then wrap the ice bag in a towel and apply it to the injured area.


Cold Packs

  • Grab a bag of frozen vegetables out of the freezer, wrap it in a towel and apply it to the injury. Will last 10 to 20 minutes
  • Mix 3 cups of water to 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in a strong plastic bag, freeze it until it becomes slushy, wrap it in a towel and apply to the injury. You can re-freeze it when the slush runs out


Cold packs are inexpensive and very efficient. Store them in your freezer and place them in an esky if you are going to an event.