When you strain a muscle or sprain an ankle should you apply heat or cold? Have you ever wondered how those liquid ice packs work? It's because the temperature helps keep blood vessels in the injured area constricted, which prevents a lot of blood from flowing to the injury site. Less blood flow means less swelling.
It's a little stiff, but it doesn't hurt very much. After an injury, you may feel stiff but not experience any excruciating pain. This is because the ice helps reduce muscle spasms, which can really cause pain. Since the cold numbs your nerves at the injury site, you don't feel much pain as long as you apply ice. But you don't want to overuse ice because it may freeze and damage the skin. Instead, it's best to use RICE.
NO, I'm not talking about the food. I mean R-I-C-E, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. After resting the injured area, you apply ice for about half an hour, then let the injury warm up and apply pressure to squeeze out the blood that tries to make it swell. Finally, elevate it to drain fluid.