How to

How to: Ice Cup Massage

April 5, 2021

Ice Cup Massage – Cryotherapy

Ice massage is a form of cryotherapy, which helps to reduce blood flow and pain sensations of the surrounding tissues. This helps to reduce inflammation and promote healing to an injured area. An ice massage allows you to place gentle pressure on the area of pain and inflammation to reduce pain sensations and blood flow, while the gentle rotating movement helps mobilize the soft tissue in the same way as a regular massage.
When to use ice: Ice application is one of the first things you can do upon experiencing a sports injury. An ice massage may be used in place of an ice pack for the first 24 to 48 hours. Blood flow brings nutrients and takes away waste and this is best achieved with moist heat after the first 24-48 hours.
An ice massage can be performed safely at home if you follow a few basic rules and avoid over-icing the injury:

  • Fill a small dixie or styrofoam cup up 3/4 way with water and place in the freezer.

  • Once frozen, tear off the top section of the cup leaving some paper on the bottom of the cup to hold on to.

  • Rub the area of pain for 4-5 min until that area is red and can be touched and feels numb.

If during this process you feel like your skin is getting too cold or sensitive in any significant way, then please stop. Do not apply ice for more than 5 minutes as this can lead to frostbite.