Weekend Warriors: Read This Before Icing Down Sore Muscles

5:18 PM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Achy ankle?  Bad back? Cramped calf? Before you trade in the traditional bag of ice for a cold pack read this: 

Experts at UNCG's athletic training program say the chemical concoction that keeps the cold pack cold comes with an added risk which could lead to a greater chance of a cold burn. Regular ice starts to melt down faster - making it less cold. They say the chemical pack stays cold for a much longer time.

"So there is the risk that when you put it on and leave it on for too long that the patient could actually experience a burn on their skin," Head Athletic Trainer Erica Thornton said. "It's truly a burn. You'll see a change in the skin temperature. Sometimes you won't notice it until you take it off and sometimes you won't notice it until the next day."

Want to see what it can look like? Check out the video attached to this story.

2 Wants To Know also reached out to several cold pack manufacturers for this story. They haven't gotten back to us yet. But in their own materials, companies warn of the possible dangers with chemical ice packs. One writes, "prolonged skin contact may cause skin irritation."

The athletic trainers recommend 15 to 20 minutes max - and make sure you put a barrier between the pack and your skin - like a paper towel.

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