How I.C.E.Down Works - Cold Therapy

The I.C.E. DOWN cold therapy system is designed to deliver cold and compression in the simplest, quickest and most effective manner possible.

I.C.E. DOWN relieves or stops pain in several ways.

When an I.C.E. DOWN cold therapy ice wrap is applied to the body it reacts as follows:

  • an immediate release of endorphins (the body's natural opiates)
  • a decrease in nervous transmissions in pain fibers
  • it inhibits spinal neurons
  • it reduces metabolism in tissue to relieve the deleterious effect of ischemia (a lack of blood supply in an organ or tissue) and decreases the need for oxygen
  • it raises the pain threshold
  • it decreases excitability of free nerve endings
  • acts as a counterirritant

Cold serves to remove heat from the localized area of treatment. Therefore, the applied method of therapy must be cold enough, and remain cold long enough, to effectively reach the deep tissue for the prescribed time. When the I.C.E. DOWN cold pack is removed from a freezer the temperature is below 32° F (0° C) and it will remain so for 30 minutes or more.

Additionally it must conform or mold to the body in such a way as to give adequate coverage. For example, when treating a joint such as a knee, elbow, wrist or foot and ankle cold should be applied so it goes completely around and extends a little beyond the joint or area of treatment. I.C.E. DOWN's unique Flexible-Ice formula allows the liquid in the cold pack to convert to ice and remain flexible so it easily molds to the body.

Click here to read testimonials of happy ICE Down customers.

In conjunction with cold application to an injury it is most important to compress the treated area. Compression helps control edema, the fluid build-up around an injured area. The I.C.E. DOWN neoprene wrap gives even compression and support over the area of treatment.



Cold therapy is the most widely used therapeutic treatment for the management of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries and pain management.

The use of cold therapy is first recorded by Hippocrates in ancient Greece in 400 BC and later in early Rome by Galen around 170 AD. Both these men, credited with being the fathers of modern medicine, recognized the benefits of using cold as a therapeutic modality.

The first cold packs were made of animal bladders filled with ice and snow. They were used by ancient physicians for treating musculoskeletal injuries and to anesthetize a local area of the body prior to surgery.

Today, cold therapy is the most widely used therapeutic treatment for acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries and pain management. It is common knowledge with Doctors, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Coaches and Athletic Trainers that properly applied and used it will decrease pain, reduce swelling, increase mobility and promote healing.


Explaining pain itself is very difficult. Pain is very subjective and at this time we have no method of objectively measuring it. Pain is whatever the person experiencing it says it is and it varies from individual to individual. It can be described as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with an area of the body where trauma exists. Although we cannot adequately describe it we have developed effective ways of treating it.

Not only does cold relieve, reduce or stop pain it often does so quite dramatically. There is clear evidence of the benefit of cold therapy. Clinical observations leave no doubt that cold therapy applications are highly effective in treating, relieving, reducing or stopping most types of pain.


Inflammation is the body's natural reaction to injury, stress and disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Orthopedic surgeon Paul Bauer has stated there is absolutely no indication for the use of heat in any form for an athletic injury. While external heat application can provide some temporary comfort through muscle relaxation, it exacerbates inflammation by increasing metabolism and blood flow and it can destroy muscle tissue and inhibit rehabilitation.

William Haskell, Ph.D. past President of the American College of Sports Medicine said, ten years ago common medical practice was to apply cold to an acute injury to keep down swelling and then apply heat within 4 to 24 hours following an injury. The general consensus within sports medicine today is that cold should continue to be applied to reduce the damage to tissue. He further states that it is common knowledge within sports medicine that the application of cold consistently results in more rapid recovery from soft tissue injuries.


There are a variety of prescription and OTC drugs available for treatment of the cause of inflammation. However in most cases as with many autoimmune disorders and other diseases the cause usually in not curable using current pharmacological products.

Therefore for the most part drug therapy is aimed at reducing pain and discomfort by treating symptoms. Drug treatment is used to block or reduce inflammation but side effects from drug use can be as debilitating as the symptom being treated.

The benefit derived from I.C.E. DOWN is exactly the same as those provided by drugs but without side effects.


Inflammation has now become one of the most intensive areas of medical research. The new view by scientists of chronic inflammation in medical research is exploding. In the past there was very little interest in viewing inflammation as a cause of physical disorders and diseases. But today medical science is beginning to understand that inflammation can be the cause of cancer, heart disease and many other diseases.

The initial purpose of inflammation is to assist the body in fighting off bacteria, viruses, fungi, tumors and a number of various harmful agents. The five basic symptoms of inflammation are redness, swelling, heat, pain, and deranged function.

The basic immunological response that produces inflammation is a cascade of events triggered whenever the body is subject to trauma or injury. Inflammation can become chronic rather then transitory. Medical research now tells us that chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age.

Our current Western lifestyles-such as diet high sugar and saturated fats with little or no exercise set the stage for the body to become inflamed. Just the stress of a daily routine of living can produce pain and inflammation at a cellular level in nerves, organs and tissue and in joints of shoulders, knees, wrists, ankles, necks or backs when muscular-skeletal trauma exists.

Excess body fat or visceral fat can lead to chronic inflammation and pain. One of the main reasons is because visceral fat secretes precursors to an inflammatory chemical that helps fuel the systemic process that exacerbates early symptoms of inflammation.

Chronic inflammation also exists with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, pleurisy, asthma, lupus and other autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis. Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer and heart disease causing stroke and heart attack all have inflammation response.

In the internal confusion that exists with diseases and injury the body's immunological defense can mistakenly direct an inflammatory attack against healthy cells in the joints, nerves and connective tissue.


One of the primary reasons for cold applications during immediate care as with acute trauma or in the treatment of chronic trauma or during physical therapy and rehabilitation is to decrease or stop pain. Yet immersing your hand or foot into ice water can cause pain.

Can something that causes pain also relieve it?

Yes! Not only can cold relieve, reduce or stop pain it often does so quite dramatically. Clinical observations leave no doubt that cold therapy applications are highly effective in treating, relieving, reducing or stopping most types of pain. There is clear evidence of its efficacy. Cold therapy is one of the most effective yet underused physical modalities for pain relief.

Click here to learn the advantages of the ICE Down cold therapy ice wrap system.