How to Ice Your Legs

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An ice pack on your leg helps speed up recovery.
An ice pack on your leg helps speed up recovery. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Icing of the legs is common to athletes and runners who often strain their leg muscles, and experience conditions such as shin splints, tendinitis and calf pain. Icing the legs stimulates blood circulation, takes down swelling and speeds up the recovery process by reducing pain, inflammation and soreness. There are several methods to ice your legs, some of which are more bearable than others.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice pack
  • Leg wrap
  • Towel
  • Frozen corn or peas
  • Zip-top bag
  • Ice cubes
  • Crushed ice
  • Jacket
  • Hat

Use a commercial leg wrap to ice your leg. Place a frozen ice pack in the pouch of the leg wrap. Secure the wrap around the affected area of your leg. Elevate your leg to reduce swelling. Leave the leg wrap for 15 minutes before removing it.

Wet a towel and place it in the freezer until it's frozen. Wrap the towel around the affected area of your leg and elevate your leg for 10 to 15 minutes.

Wrap a bag of frozen corn or frozen peas in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 15 minutes. Use a zip-top bag filled with ice cubes in a similar fashion.

Take an ice bath. Fill the bathtub with three bags of crushed ice. Add enough cold water to the ice so that it will cover your legs and hips when sitting in it. Aim for a water temperature around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Put on a warm jacket and hat, and drink a warm beverage, as you sit in the ice bath for 15 to 20 minutes.

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