6'0 Tall wife to Muscle Man, mother of 3, full time career woman, with an addiction to running wherever her size 10's will take her.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beware of Blue Ice Packs

My Half PR training plan called for 5 miles yesterday. I set out on my lunch hour and I was SORE!! My knees ached, I felt OLD and GROSS! After about 1 mile, my knees were better then my right Hamstring twinged.. URGH!! I had the same issue just before the Eugene Marathon.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!

As a Runner to avoid injury LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. At 1.5 miles I reversed the route, headed back to the office with 3 miles total and called it a day. I am not sure what is up with my hamstring?? Cutting out 2 miles is worth avoiding an injury.

WORKED A LONG DAY AND HEADED HOME...After my shower my knees were still aching so I plopped down and put on my Blue McDavid Ice Packs, the kind you can get at Sports Authority. I have used these ice packs for a while now and generally I put them directly on my skin (BIG NO NO).
  • NOTE: I played competitive basketball from 6th grade to 18th grade, I have YEARS of court pounding on my knees. Couple that with 2 knee surgeries on the left knee and you get some PAIN. Icing helps keep the inflammation down so I can continue running.

After practice in college (Basketball at Gonzaga) the trainers would make us dip our lower half into a COLD whirlpool as they dumped buckets of ice in the frosty water. I am TOUGH when it comes to icing. So I found it strange when my knees hurt from the Blue Ice Packs. I could not get comfortable. Generally I use for 30 minutes and don't even notice it.

I did not use the Blue Ice Pack pictured above, just thought it was cute. After 10 minutes I could not take it. I took off the packs to see my right knee was grey and the skin was hard. WTH?? NOT GOOD! My knees stung and the skin began to swell. GROSS!

TALL MOM MEDICAL OPINION:
Using the Blue packs directly on my skin after taking a hot shower caused a mild form of Frostbite or possibly a chemical burn. So now I have lovely red knees and a lesson.

  • BEWARE of BLUE ICEPACKS!! Stick to ice baths or good old Ice!
  • Doing some quick research I found countless people who have suffered the same fate. Has something like this ever happened to you?
  • High Five Friday tomorrow!! Are you racing this weekend or have a GREAT Giveaway going on? Leave a comment or email me at tallmomontherun (@) hotmail

HAPPY THURSDAY!

38 comments:

Chris said...

I am racing a 10K this Saturday.

Stephanie Nichole said...

Oh I had the same thing happen. It's because your skin starts sweating and the sweat actually freezes so don't put it directly on your skin. 30 MINUTES??? you be crazy girl. no more than 15 on then 10 off... alternate.

Amanda said...

Yikes!!
I'm running the San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon on Sunday! Woo hoo

Thank you for the book, again. I'll be posting about it on my blog today.

kimert said...

Ouch!
I am running a 5k Saturday! Looking forward to it and a new PR!

Lisa said...

wow, that's so crazy! thanks for the warning!

So smart of you to turn around and shorten your run. I think a lot of runners just keep pushing through. I hope your knees and hamstring feel better soon!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Some wonderful sewing or knitting blogger is going to need to make you a set of ice pack snuggies!

Ice pack directly on skin = no.go!

I hope your knees feel better. (On run #98 I had a pinched nerve behind my knee. It only lasted about half a mile. I was sooo glad I had the jogger because my knee would instantly buckle! It has to do with the way I sometime sit at work.)

Marlene said...

Same thing happened to me last year... not fun! I even went to the hospital because I was totally freaked out. (In hindsight, that was not necessary.)

I have a race this weekend!! 5K as part of a Sprint Triathlon relay team! Woohoo!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Sorry about your hard run today. But, I think you made the right decision to cut it short. It's always better to be safe then sorry! Yay...definitely be careful with ice packs. I always wrap a thin towel around them before I use them!

k2323 said...

I'm running the Lacamas Half near Vancouver, WA this Sunday! Good luck in your 5k.
Kim

H Love said...

oh my! poor thing. way to be smart and listen to your body. thank goodness you got that ice pack off!

H Love said...

oh my! poor thing. way to be smart and listen to your body. thank goodness you got that ice pack off!

Denise said...

eek. gotta wonder what those little ice packs could do to kids!

Lacey Nicole said...

ah, mel!
YES! be careful.

i use ice packs and have to keep an eye on them -- i have had red skin/hardening-- i believe it is a freezer pack burn. it's literally burning you. you should put a thin cloth between your skin and the pack if possible!

track coach and adorable wife said...

I love that you are so tough (usually) about icing. My husband still squirms, whimpers, hand taps almost all the way through any kind of bucket icing!

Angie said...

Ouch! Sounds like the knees were hurting. And thanks for the warning about blue ice packs because putting directly on the skin is something I would do.

aron said...

gah! what if you just put a paper towel or something thin down first so its not right on the skin?

i am running the 2nd half of the SF marathon this weekend!!!

abbi said...

learn something new every day! I didn't have any idea you weren't supposed to use those things directly!

funderson said...

wow! I'm kind of glad you learned that lesson first. :)
Thanks for the warning!

J said...

I have totally done that to myself before! In high school, I got frostbite on my ankles from icing too much! It is not fun at all!

J said...

Oh and I forgot to mention, I am racing Saturday in a 5k! Thanks!

misszippy said...

I've had that happen before too--it kind of freaked me out! Go buy a bag of frozen peas--they are the best for icing!

runsher said...

Sorry to read that you're not feeling 100%. If you haven't tried yoga, you should. It really helps with the hamstrings and everything else.

I'm running the Queens Half Marathon on Sat.

Laurie said...

Yikes! Haven't had that happen before, but usually I'm too much of a wimp to put them directly on my skin.

I'm giving away a $40 CSN giftcard. Tomorrow is the last day. Thanks!

Rachael said...

ABout a year ago when I first started running I suffered nearly debilitating shin splints. I had these gel filled little blue ice packs that my mom gave me. I placed one directly on my shin and ace bandaged it in place for 20 minutes. I removed it to find a hard squishy gray spot in a perfect rectangular shape. It thawed to a bright red patch that stuck around for a week. Just the other day I was examining my legs and took note of a discoloration over my shin (slightly darker then the surrounding skin) in the shape of a rectangle. Yep. A year later and I
still have a mark. I caused a deep tissue death. I'm lucky I didn't cause necrois.

KK @ Running Through Life said...

I am sad to say that I have done the exact same thing to my knee! Darn those knee injuries!!!

I hope you recover quickly and are able to run pain free!!!!!!!

Tom, Lynette, and family said...

Remember those super cool burp cloths I gave you for Mr E.? Split the seam on one if the short sides, and they turn into a GREAT ice pack sleeve! ;) I hope you're feeling better babe. <3 ya!

teacherwoman said...

I have read others doing the same thing. But, I hear that ice packets directly on the knees (especially longer than 15 minutes) is a big NO NO!

Erica said...

dang ice packs...you better be careful with those things :)

Cynthia O'H said...

I always put a cloth - even if it is just a paper towel - under an ice pack on my boys, the kids at school. It is just too easy to end up with freezer burn otherwise. My husband learned the hard way.

We have a towel sewn together with dried beans inside. It's always in the freezer, it works well and is safe.
Hope your knees feel better soon.

WannabeRunner said...

As much as I hated the cold whirlpool back when I played basketball I miss them now! What my knees wouldn't do for one of those after a long run! I've had two knee surgeries as well and thus have knee problems just like you.

Molly said...

I have a iRun Like a Girl giveaway going on right now!

Bethany + Ryan said...

ouch!! when i use ice packs i use the cloth ones, they never burn my skin. i do 15 minutes. i hope your hammy is feeling better!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Glad you are listening to your body.

I ALWAYS struggle with icing my feet / legs. If I use a cloth - it never seems to feel cold enough to do any good . . . so I usually use the ice pack right against my skin. I know that the instructions say to use a cloth . . . maybe I need to find something thinner. I use a thin, old dish cloth . . . but it is still to thick.

Take care

Erika said...

Thanks for the lookout!

Rachel said...

earlier this year i burned my lower legs pretty bad from blue ice packs...i put them directly against my skin and ended up with red, painful lesion-like burns! not fun or pretty : ( as for races, i'm running the san francisco marathon this sunday, woot!

MCM Mama said...

Your poor leg! Hope it heals quickly!

Katie A. said...

At first I laughed at this but then realized this could be wicked dangerous! I'm glad you're okay though!
Hope the knees are feeling better - could it be time for new shoes? I can only run a max of 350 in mine before they start to effect my knees :)
Happy Friday girlie!

Kathy said...

I did this back in March the last time I tore my calf. I still have white patches on my calf where the skin was hard (after removing the ice pack).

I have bad knees - cartidge - and have had great success with glucosamine. takes about a week for it to kick in but it makes a HUGE difference.