Anyone who is or has been active in sports or any sort of physical activity knows that an injury can happen in a split second. A turned ankle or a sprained wrist can occur in the blink of an eye and these injuries are often some of the most painful problems that one can experience. While one rarely goes into an event thinking that one of these injuries will befall them, it is important to be prepared in the event that they do occur. The first step to treating any injury is to ice it immediately, to reduce swelling and to slow the blood flow to the affected area. Elevating the injury above the chest and heart will help reduce swelling as well, but ice should be applied to the affected area as soon as possible. With a quality ice machine in your athletic facility, you can rest assured that you will have ice when you need it most.
Just a few weeks ago, I suffered my fourth seriously sprained ankle in the past ten years, landing awkwardly on it during a soccer game. In the past, I was a self-admitted egotist. Bad sprains meant ten minutes on the sidelines, and then it was time to head back into the game. This time however, when I felt that familiar pull and pop, I laid down on the sideline, put my leg on the bench, and asked my teammate to see if he could find me some ice in the building. Thankfully, the facility at which we play is familiar with, and prepared for these types of injuries, and keeps a small undercounter ice machine on hand for situations like this.
So, within 60 seconds of the initial injury, I had a bag of Manitowoc’s dice ice cubes smothering my now swollen ankle. (I left my shoe on too, which I’ve been told is the proper protocol, but I can’t say I’m qualified as a doctor.) While icing my ankle, I watched my team go on to lose 3-1, conceding the most goals we had all year, and losing our first game of the season. Worse, one of our players got tangled with another on the opposing team, fell, and broke his wrist on the play. The facility’s ice machine was getting a real workout tonight. I was just thankful my injury did not require a trip to the hospital as his did.
Once the game was over, we revisited the ice machine to refresh the ice in my bag. We then wrapped it around my leg with some athletic tape to keep it supported while I hobbled to the car. After I got home, we changed the ice again, wrapped it up, and taped it before taking some pain medication and trying to sleep.
Sprains, strains, contusions, bruises, pulls, and tears are part of the sports world. Those of us in tune with the NFL playoffs have undoubtedly seen the injury to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s knee, and know that, as gruesome as some of these injuries can be, they are part of the sports world. These injuries make having an adequate ice machine on hand at all times even more important. Most venues do not require a large ice machine – and undercounter ice machine should suffice in most cases – but in every gymnasium, athletic club, locker room, and stadium, a quality ice machine should remain nearby.
For larger high schools, colleges, universities, and professional sporting arenas and stadiums, an ice machine and ice bin combination may be required to have ice on hand for ice baths, filling water coolers, and for treating injuries. Smaller, recreational facilities may be able to get by with an undercounter ice machine with a higher output – one like Ice-O-Matic’s ICEU150 or ICEU300. These slim ice machines can still produce between 150 and 300 pounds of ice per day, enough to satisfy the needs of a small snack bar, while also being used to treat injuries. Hoshizaki’s crescent ice, Manitowoc’s half-dice cubes, Scotsman’s small ice cubes, or Ice-O-Matic’s half ice cubes are the best if you will be using your ice machine both to serve beverages and for treatment of injuries. For the best ice to treat injuries, consider flake ice, which is often seen in seafood displays. This ice is soft and malleable, and can be easily shaped to fit around the contours of the injured area.
I had that ankle injury befall me nearly two weeks ago, and have been icing it on a regular basis to keep the swelling down. Aside from reducing the swelling, this injury has been recovering at a markedly faster pace than my previous ankle injuries. Who would have thought that in my advanced age I’d be healing more quickly than I did when in my teens? For injuries like these, the P.R.I.C.E or R.I.C.E Systems should be used immediately following the injury (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate). Just remember- while four of those things can be done on your own, one of them (Ice) requires a quality ice machine.
Perhaps it is a coincidence that the acronym for “In Case of Emergency” is I.C.E. If you ever have trouble remembering, think of this – Ice is key I.C.E. – and at Ice Machines Plus, we have an ice machine to fit the athletic facility of any size. No matter the reason for which you require ice, you can find the perfect ice making unit here. Consult our Ice Expert Center, or give us a call and we’ll outfit you personally with the ice machine that best suits your establishment.