Ice Bag

SYN: ice compress, ice cap, cold compress

The Ice Bag
Spinal Ice Bag


from Hydrothermic Remedies...

The ice bag is another means of applying local cold to the skin. It should be filled with finely chopped ice so that it is about 2cm / 1" thick. The air is driven out by water. Then the cap is screwed on, the bag should hold its shape by reason of the predominance of ice. It is covered with a layer of face towel before it is applied to skin. Commonly the ice bag is not kept in place continuously, but is removed for 20 minutes after 20 minutes application. Specially shaped ice bags are made for the spine, the neck (cravat) and head (ice cap).

A thick well-saturated woolen cloth placed next to the skin


  • Analgesic
  • Local Sedative
  • Depleting - if less than 12°C / 54°F remove long enough to allow a complete reaction every 30 min. This allows a reactionary contraction of the vessels in the inflamed organ.

In continuous applications there is passive dilation due to numbness of the cutaneous nerves so no reflex stimulation.


from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...

Every 20min Dry Friction to reaction, except for superficial inflammations

Sedative in:


Usually over area - continue until no longer sensitive to pressure, use Fomentations instead of friction in...


Reflex Haemostatic

Direct Haemostatic

over the wound - large, over whole part.



Where collateral hyperaemia may cause problems as in

Most conditions where considerable pain is present.


from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...

  • Usually a rubber, ice filled bag covered with towel
  • Can use ice pack (ice filled towel)
  • Interrupt to prevent freezing and rub or apply Fomentations to renew local reaction.