How long should I apply an ice pack for?
Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions. Apply an ice or cold pack to the injured or sore area at least 3 times a day for as long as you have pain, swelling, and inflammation. For the first 72 hours, ice for 10 minutes, once an hour. After that, use ice for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a day: in the morning, in the late afternoon after work or school, and about one-half hour before bedtime. Also, ice after any prolonged activity or vigorous exercise. Instant ice packs are perfect if you don't have access to a fridge or freezer. By controlling pain and swelling ice packs can speed up sports injury and knee surgery rehabilitation.