A technique for administering therapeutic cold treatments to the distal extremities (e.g., the ankle or hand) with a mixture of water and crushed, flaked, or cubed ice with a temperature range of 50° to 60°F (10°–15°C). The liquid medium allows for equal cooling of irregularly shaped body parts. To reduce the amount of discomfort initially experienced during this treatment, the fingers or toes can be covered with an insulating material.
Because ice immersion treatments place the body part in a position that does not promote venous return, the treated limb may swell. It should be elevated and a compression wrap applied following the treatment to encourage venous and lymphatic drainage. Synonym: ice slush See: cryotherapy
This treatment should not be used in patients with cold intolerance or in those for whom cold application is contraindicated.