Ice, Water, Fans - what are the alternatives?

Cooling with Ice is something most of us try at some point. It is discussed in Tizzy's article in the "information new members" section, the key being that it is dangerous in general though some have personal good experiences (even over years) with applications not exceeding 10 minutes.

The article attached by Dr Davis of Mayo Clinic also warns from constant use of ice water, fans and air conditioning. Like ice these may lead to Immersion Foot. It seems that this condition may be mistaken in part for worsening of EM and gradually subsides once one weanes oneself from (over-?)using ice, ice water and fans.

For me the questions remain what kind of fan-use is still ok, and of course, what are the alternatives? Any ideas?

204-DavisImmersionfootandEM.pdf (804 KB)

Hi Ben.

I use air-conditioning as my main cooling method as I have EM all over my body so spot treatment isn't as effective. When I just get it anyway even in my cool home I use Chillows and chilli Pads as well as fans and spraying water on the area with fans. I try and stay just as cool as need be and no more ( often a tricky thing) Rest and elevation are also helpful.

Take care,

Alina

I use a large amount of ice in a small foot basin of water. I usually keep my feet in it for about 20 seconds, thats about as long as I can take it cuz its super cold. No issue yet, been doing it for a few years.

Hello,

I have for the last years used plastic wine cooler from Vacuvin. ( "Active Cooler Wine).

They are sold by a Company in The Netherlands and "easy" to find in Sweden where I live.

Keep them in the freezer-- and when you need it you put in the foot ( or a bottle of wine....) in the plastic envelope...

Works very well and you can bring them with you in a small isolated picnicbag.

www.vacuvin.com

I cover my feet with something like vit. E or avocado oil, and put them into Gallon-size ziploc baggies, then into cold water (usually around 57 degrees or so). I use to just put them straight into the water, but I did get small cracks and my skin was a bit raw. I admit I do this a LOT. Like Tizzy says, I have to make myself get up and move around, walk a bit, to get circulation going. Too much sitting can lead to blood clots.

I have wondered if I'm aggravating the EM with the cold. I really like Goran's idea of the wine coolers. They're $10.60 on Amazon. I'm trying them!

Why would the fans be a problem? I use that at night, with my feet sticking out (we all know that). Thanks, Ben, for the link to Dr. Davis' article.

Jane

Using air conditioning isn't going to hurt any of us if we aren't sticking our feet, hands, or fact directly in front of the air coming out it. NOT air conditioning my house would cause pain so intense I would just kill myself, anyway! I know that icing and water can hurt and I don't do either so I can't contribute there. I use a lot of meditation and deep breathing for pain relief, and it really does help me.

Update: I asked the author, Dr Davis, since I was curious what was the advice given to the patients whose immersion foot consequently improved. His reply was that
"moderation is key. Use of moderately cooling behaviors for limited periods is okay- but excessive use is not. For example, use of cool (but not freezing or iced) water for 5-10 minutes a couple of times a day is fine, but not ice for 24 hours a day."

Personally, what I take home from his and your replies is that I do not try to keep cold (as I have sometimes done through absence of clothing and extensive fan use) but rather keep a comfortable overall temperature and react very early on if I feel a flare might be coming. Curiously, being comfortably clothed means very short pants combined with a full length shirt over a t-shirt and a scarf (I have a sore throat). Well, I did not intend to win a fashion contest anyway.

Update: I asked the author, Dr Davis, since I was curious what was the advice given to the patients whose immersion foot consequently improved. His reply was that
"moderation is key. Use of moderately cooling behaviors for limited periods is okay- but excessive use is not. For example, use of cool (but not freezing or iced) water for 5-10 minutes a couple of times a day is fine, but not ice for 24 hours a day."

Personally, what I take home from his and your replies is that I do not try to keep cold (as I have sometimes done through absence of clothing and extensive fan use) but rather keep a comfortable overall temperature and react very early on if I feel a flare might be coming. Curiously, being comfortably clothed means very short pants combined with a full length shirt over a t-shirt and a scarf (I have a sore throat). Well, I did not intend to win a fashion contest anyway.

Also, I think I’ll give Görans vine coolers a try.

(Hope I have not accidentally produced the same reply more or less twice.)

Hi Ben84,

Thanks for posting this topic. Just a quick reply.One tactic I use as a cooling behaviour optimises fan use.

Fan use - wrap a cold damp cotton sheet/pillow case over offending area/limbs. Put fan on full blast- dampness retains coolness by 70% so this is very effective. In fact, you can pop a little drop of apple cider vinegar into mix or lavender oil so doubles as comforting aromatherapy.

Another method I use is 'cold bath' immersion therapy

In terms of ice, we dont advocate it but most of us do so in some shape or form . Moderation , care and precaution key . Always best to follow your Dr's advice; secondary/co-existing conditions may be adversely affected .

The post 'friend or foe' by our lovely Tizzy, has some invaluable suggestions/thoughts. Here is link;

http://www.livingwitherythromelalgia.org/forum/topics/ice-friend-or...

Mod team are currently working on an cryotherapy article and fact sheet. It is a massive topic that needs to be better understood.

Havent forgotten your articles.:-)

God bless

mads