The most common technique is the use of a cold pack. Applying cold packs is a way to target a very specific area – a joint most of the time, suffering from inflammatory symptoms.
You can use cold packs up to 3 times a day, each application up to 20 minutes.
It is not recommended to keep the cold pack for more than 20 minutes as it will reduce the thermal shock and therefore decrease the benefits. A common mistake is to keep it for long hours, for example during the night.
Always make sure to use a tissue or a thin towel between the cold pack and your skin. This thin layer is essential to protect your skin from damage and a burning sensation. If you experience tinglings, or the skin is turning red, or pain, remove the ice pack immediately. After several days of application, make sure to check if your skin is not dry or cracked. If that’s the case, make sure to use a repairing and hydrating cream.
While applying a cold pack, make sure to sit or lay down in a comfortable position. A rubber band or a belt can be used to maintain the cold pack on the skin. To enhance the effects and reduce swelling, you can elevate the leg or arm while icing.
If you don’t have a cold pack, you could also use a bag of green peas or a bag filled with ice cubes. If you use a bag of peas, make sure to only use it for cold therapy and never eat it because you will break the cold chain. Mark it “unusable” with a label.
If you are looking for a more global technique, as an example to target both legs, you could try a cold shower or cold bath. Cold showers for legs are really helpful during summertime for people suffering from blood circulation issues.
If you use a massage gel, my advice would be to store it in the fridge, so you can benefit from a cold effect during the massage the next time you use the cream/gel.