At the onset of an injury and/or feeling of pain, it is very important to ice for the first 48 to 72 hours and elevate the injured area. Ideally ice should be applied 5 to 10 minutes of injury.
Apply ice pack for 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours. Do not use heat in the beginning, heat will cause blood vessels to enlarge, causing the pain to increase. To ice, use a bag of frozen peas or corn. Frozen veggies are much smaller than a baggy full of ice cubes, therefore conforming easier to the body part.
Do NOT ice an injury for more than 20 minutes at a time, this will not speed up the healing process, and it can cause damage to the tissues (frostbite).
Ace cold press is what I use. It’s made of fabric, will not burn the skin, 10.5″ long, and will last forever. Walgreen’s and Amazon sells them.
Take it from me about the importance of immediate icing, I have torn my bicep twice, dislocated shoulder, damaged both wrists, and so on. Injuries never end for the boxer or lifter.
APPLYING HEAT: After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice. Use heat pads, hot soaks, hot showers, or heat liniments and ointments. It not always necessary to apply heat, it depends on if you are still experiencing pain.