How to Make Your Own Ice Packs and Heat Packs

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How to Make Your Own Ice Packs and Heat Packs

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How to Make Your Own Ice Packs and Heat Packs


A weekend of physical activity—whether on the playing field or at drill—can leave your body strained, bruised and swollen. The quickest road to recovery from light injuries usually includes ice, heat or a combination of the two.

When store-bought ice packs and heat packs are not available, head to your kitchen. A bit of creativity can turn everyday home pantry items into low-cost and effective home remedies.

MAKE YOUR OWN ICE PACK

Ice is the first line of defence. Use it to numb pain and minimize swelling—especially in the first 48 hours after an injury.

If you need an ice pack immediately, use a bag of ice cubes, frozen vegetables or frozen rice.

For an ice pack that will better match the shape of your injured body part:

Step 1: Mix three cups of water with one cup of rubbing alcohol in a sealable freezer bag.

Step 2: Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.

Step 3: Freeze the mixture.

Step 4: Wrap the ice pack in a towel so the ice pack will not freeze your skin.

Step 5: Apply for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.

MAKE YOUR OWN HEAT PACK

After 48 hours, heat is also an option to help relax stiff joints and tight, aching muscles.

For a homemade heat pack:

Step 1: Fill a tube sock with rice, grits, dry kernels of corn (not popcorn or on a cob), or another other grain you can heat in a microwave.

Step 2: Tie the open end of the sock.

Step 3: Microwave the grain-filled sock for two to three minutes.

Step 4: Apply for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

There are some injuries that need treatment beyond an ice or heat pack. If you cannot move the injured body part, if the injury isn’t improving, or you have an open wound, head injury or back pain that radiates into the thigh, leg or foot, seek medical care immediately.

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