How ice reduces pain?

What is pain first of all?

When something happens like cutting finger with knife (which is like the stimuli) the nerve endings take up that stimuli and transmit that as an emergency signal to the brain and then the brain indicates that as a pain to us so that we act on the stimuli immediately. (i.e., stop cutting! 😉 )

So, when we keep an ice on the affected area, the ice actually numbs the area – which means it is numbing the nerve endings. So, the nerve cant transmit the signal to the brain and we don’t realize the pain. But without acting on the main reason, if we just keep on numbing the area, then we worsen the problem rather than solving it.

Also, keeping the ice stops blood flow which is the main reason for decreasing the swelling.



  1. Barbro · · Reply

    Pain is relative, as many other things. There is pain and pain.

    First form, is what you write, cutting yourself on a knife. For that, we dont need to take painkillers. Only patch and ice.

    Second form of pain, is when you get massive disk fraction in the back.

    To withstanding pain, isnt something, anybody ought to do. If there is real pain, either operation or painkillers. Our bodies are fragile.

  2. “To withstanding pain, isnt something, anybody ought to do..”

    I did not mean to say that we need to suffer with pain…
    But there are certain cases when we ought to bear pain actually. Even doctors ask patients to withstand pain for some time. For example: labor pain for ladies during child birth. We cant help it! We cant avoid it. Doctors don’t give pain killers for that. Also, if the ladies do lot of fuzz that they can’t bear the pain, then they go for cesarean delivery. Even that has lot of pain later on and lot more complications.
    So there are some cases when we have to withstand pain.

    Anyways, I think I made a mistake about mentioning pain killers in the post which explains “how ice reduces pain”.. So, I removed the pain killer part to another new post – Pain killers are not that bad after all..

    But I just meant that taking pain killers for a short while is helpful especially when we know the cause of the pain and we are treating it.

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