Ice Dipping - When?

by Zach

With the ice dip procedure for wrist tendonitis, is the dipping supposed to be done once a day, dipping the wrist at least 10 times in a 2 hour span? Or, is it supposed to be done a few times a day? I read it to mean I would do it for one 2 hour span once a day for 3-7 days, but I want to make sure this is correct.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Zach.

Your Wrist Tendonitis icing question highlights the challenge I've been having of getting a vague idea across definitively.

I primarily suggest that people Ice Dip a minimum of 10 dips within a 2 hour time frame.

Your understanding of what I wrote is right on, and the other questions that came up are great questions.

Ten 10 second dips in a two hour period. That is the beginning recipe.

And, it doesn't have to be ten times, or within 2 hours.

(Although within two hours is more effective than one dip every hour throughout the day.)

With pain, injury, and inflammation, it really is The More The Merrier.

10 Dips in 2 hours will make a huge difference to the vast majority of individuals.

And, if you are in a lot of pain, the more you ice dip, the faster it will go away. So if you Ice Dip 40 times in a day, that very likely will have a more beneficial effect on reversing your wrist tendonitis dynamic than just ten times.

And ten times causes incredible results.

See: Pain Causing Dynamic

I recommend the beginning recipe for 7 days to begin stopping and then reversing the Downward Spiral.

Then you will learn what that recipe can do for you and your Tendonitis self-care, and then adjust more or less as necessary.

Also, once the pain is gone, you may find it wise to continue icing for at least another week, to help support your body as it heals and moves in an Upward Spiral.

Does that answer your question(s)?

Keep me updated, and ask any other questions that come up.

Let's get you completely out of pain.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Ice Dipping - When?

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Oct 29, 2016
Ice dipping whole body
by: NK

I read the page on reducing inflammation and saw ice dipping for most body parts except shoulders and hips.

Can I do an ice bath but use the dip method. In for 10 seconds out for 5 minutes?


Kind regards


Joshua Comments:

Hi NK.

If you want to spend some time ice dipping the whole body, yeah that's good.

10-20 seconds in, then out.

Hot tub to ice plunge to hot tub to ice plunge, in a perfect world.

Finishing hot showers with cold is good too (and during a shower, going hot cold hot cold hot cold). Especially in winter (depending on where you are) as the water is usually much colder.

Jan 25, 2017
You know your stuff!
by: Gunnar Drummer

I just want to start out that this method is great!

I've been through chiropractic procedures for wrist pain and tendonitis and the ice dipping completely helps after only 2 days!

My question though is regarding scar tissue. My right hand has been stagnant with pain for 3 years.

My doctor says my carpal bones and thumb has scar tissue surrounding my tendons which causes popping and wrist pain.

Do you have any advice on any home remedies to get rid of this enduring nuisance?


Joshua Comments:


That's what Ice Dipping does. It's not a fix per se, but it's very effective at lowering pain levels. doctor says that your carpal bones have scar tissue around them? And Thumb? And also the tendons on/near those areas?

Or just the tendons?

Like, scar tissue all along the tendons, for multiple inches of the tendon?

If that's what your doctor, I highly doubt it unless he did an MRI and can see it.

Also, scar tissue isn't likely to blame for the 'popping' and wrist pain that I imagine that you're referring to.

For instance, as, your doctor WHY that alleged scar tissue is allegedly 'on your tendons'.

He won't have much of an answer.

The actual answer is that, if you do have tendon pain and wrist pain, that pain is caused, ultimately, by too tight muscle and connective tissue in the forearms that is pulling too hard, constantly, on the tendons, and compressing the wrist joint.

Again, unlikely that you even have scar tissue, and if you do, it's a symptom of something, not the cause of all your symptoms.

I of course suggest my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program (or Reversing DeQuervain's Tendonitis program if your thumb hurts the most).

To get you back to a pain free state takes some explanation, mostly on what exactly to do to get your forearm/hand back towards optimal function (and thus minimal to no pain/problem).

Feb 22, 2017
Follow up
by: Gunnar Drummer

Ok. Let me explain a little bit how it happened.

I was playing a concert on drums one time and I played quite tight. Most of my power came from the forearm into the wrist right before the initial hit of the snare drum.

That night I experienced tingling in my wrist and fingers. My thumb felt weaker and unstable, like a fatigued arm after too much weights.

It progressively got worse as my wrist bone area connected to the thumb started getting sharp pain (my left hand is developing something similar but not nearly as painful).

Now when I grip the stick, even the slightest pressure gets the hand tender where my thumb, wrist, and forearm is. The cracking of my hand and wrist is disgusting as heck but it's the only way to find a bit of relief. My chiropractor relieved the pain and popping so I felt it was safe.

No MRI but I took his professional word for it and accepted his advice. For a month, my playing was very clear and felt as if nothing happened. Then it slowly crept back. I even corrected my technique into a very loose style!

But, then I noticed you had a discussion on here about nutrition. I have never ate well. I was sickly as a kid because of poor diet habits and fast food on a daily. Leafy greens were the enemy! It wasn't until about a couple months back that eating bananas and drinking milk became a thing for me.

Do you think there is a way to beat this thing? Drumming is my life and I can't afford medical treatment anymore. I'm not depressed, but it's my dream to be like Buddy Rich!

What can I do? I can't scrounge up a dime. What should I eat? How do I get rid of the popping in both of my hands? Am I screwed?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Gunnar.

Well, you may be screwed in the sense that you absolutely do need nutrition for your body to work correctly.

You should be able to get out of pain and strong again etc,'s going to cost you. Good food, and for a short term at least, supplements.

Having said that:

A. What happens when you ice dip a lot?
B. If you got that relief from the chiropractor, the reason it crept back in was due to muscle tightness.

You can possibly do self massage to keep the benefit you got from the chiro to stay longer.

Feb 23, 2017
Follow up 2
by: Gunnar Drummer

Could you recommend me a tiny grocery list to supply my body with?

Answers to your questions.

A. It works generally well with the pain for extended periods of time. My thumb doesn't feel flaring. It doesn't, however, stop the pressure of the pain in my thumb that persists in my wrist joint and between the thumb and index finger when I play. Why are those spots popping and generating discomfort??!

B. Yeah, my chiropractor never mentioned nutrition but he mentioned it was kindve tight there. Ever since I started eating bananas my body has relieved some of the stress in both arms.

What supplements should I get? I already have Iron, B12, magnesium, and calcium. Anything else I'm missing?


Joshua Comments:

1. Is your iron low? If not, don't supplement with iron. Too much is bad. And guys generally don't need to and shouldn't supplement iron

2. Why calcium? We get enough calcium from our food (generally), but can't utilize it because not enough magnesium and vitamin d.

3. If a banana or two noticeably makes things better, that points to you benefiting from potassium. Eat more bananas.

4. "Why are those spots popping and generating discomfort??!"

Because your muscles and connective tissue are too tight, are constantly too tight, are compressing the joint, and are forcing a new/compressed range of joint motion that causes them to move in ways they're not supposed to, and because the joint is getting irritated, and because you have chronic inflammation which makes things hurt.

5. Bananas. Organic grass fed sources of meat, fat, eggs. Avocado. Coconut oil. Organic grassfed sources of raw milk/cream/kefir.

Real sauerkraut (no vinegar). Beet Kavass (easy to make).

Mar 04, 2017
Drummer practicing each finger daily
by: Gunnar Drummer

Hey! I asked you before about my right hand but now my left is slowly sinking in the same depths. I play drums (my practice pad) quite often around 2-4 hours a day split in two sessions.

My left hand is naturally weaker than my right so I try a teeny bit more to keep my balance at the fulcrum point of the stick where the thumb and index finger rest with minimal pressure.

I feel as though I'm gripping quite light for maximum control with minimal influence but I start to feel some pain on the thumb side of my wrist, my forearm, and the top of my hand just before the wrist. I have quite a poor diet which isn't consistent with vitamins or minerals.

I'm just wondering if you could give me a good idea on what I need to start doing to have healthier tendons to take what the drums demand. What are free ways to tackle my problem?

Thank you!

P.S. I have been practicing my fingers individually every day.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Gunnar.

Healthy free options:

1. Ice dip as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation

2. Self massage from fingertip to elbow.

3. Stop eating nutritionless and inflammatory foods.

Mar 15, 2017
Why does my Physical Therapist use heat rather than ice???
by: Lynn G.

Why does my physical therapist use heat rather than ice? I still get swelling from this repetitive use injury.

I am considering getting a parafin machine. Is this good or should I just use ice?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Lynn.

I don't know.

Physical therapists also use ice packs (a not very effective option, but still better than heat).

Why yours only uses heat, I don't know.

I imagine the conversation goes something like this: "We use heat because we want to bring blood to the area to help it heal."

Unfortunately, there are some problems with that strategy.

A. Is there any actual injury? If not, it doesn't need help 'healing'. Just because there's pain doesn't mean that there's actual injury there.

B. When there is pain and/or injury, there is a Process of Inflammation, and that traps fluid in the area, which makes 'bringing new blood to the area' potentially problematic (swelling, excess fluid trapped in the area causing problems).

C. If there's swelling etc, you want to get that fluid out. COld is effective at that. Heat, not so much.

D. When you remove cold, the body pushes a lot of new blood to the area to warm it up.

So why use heat when you can use cold and STILL get lots of new blood to the area (with the added benefits of cold dialing down the inflammation process which causes the swelling in the first place).

See Related: Wrist Tendonitis And Ice Dipping Long Term Questions

See Related: Years Of Wrist Tendonitis Ice Dipping Really Helps

Mar 16, 2017
Minimal Break Time?
by: MikeN

Joshua - just started dipping two days now and have no problems thus far for golfer elbow issues. My question for you is there an ideal amount wait/break time in between dips?

I've typically waited about 10 mins or so to warm up and message the elbow tissues for circulation.

Any thoughts on this?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Mike.

The timing doesn't matter so much.

You just need to give enough time for the area to 'warm up', by which I mean, new blood to get pushed back into the area.

There's probably a minimum amount of time (differs per person), but there's no maximum time.

One ice dip, one reflexive circulatory response.

The more the merrier.

Feb 07, 2018
Taping and Bandaging
by: Shuaib

Hi there

I have been having an issue with tendinitis for the past 6 months. i have been administered a cortisone injection and been attending physical therapy.

A week ago i had a flare up of inflammation and pain which my PT recommended i stop all physical wrist training and start icing as regular as possible.

I have recently come across your article on ice dipping and have been doing it for the past 3 days with the slight chronic inflammation beginning to subside.

Please can advise me on what should be done after ice dipping and your view on bandaging of my wrist.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Shuaib.

1. Keep ice dipping. A LOT for the next 3-7 days.

2. Read this entire thread, and follow the links and read those pages too.

Mar 21, 2018
"Over Dipping??"
by: Arnie L.

Ah Ha! My misunderstanding of the dipping procedure just may be my problem!

I have Tennis Elbow, and started dipping my left elbow a couple of weeks ago. My tendonitis is improving at a good rate. However, I was doing 10 second dips, with 20 seconds out, then 10 seconds in again, etc. 10 - ten second dips within 5 minutes. Twice per day. Now I have intermittent finger tremors and hand cramping on the left hand to where the edge of my hand (pinkie side) indents painfully. My other fingers cramp half closed sometimes too and I have to rub them out.

I wonder...Could dipping without enough "warming time" in between cause hand cramps and tremors by freezing those finger flexors and nerves too much?


Joshua Comments:


While 20 seconds out isn't much time to 'warm up', by which I mean, a bunch of new blood rushes in, and thus you're not getting as much bang for your buck and should stay out longer (even a minute is much better)....

I wouldn't think that would cause cramping etc.

A. We're all unique snowflakes, so it could just be that you in particular respond that way to that much cold 'stress'.

It's not cold enough, or enough cold, to actually hurt you, but not all bodies respond to stress how we might like them to.

B. Having said that, it's -probably- a nutritional issue, such that your body doesn't have what it needs to be able to respond to the cold stimulus correctly/adequately.

For instance, much Raynaud's Disease is really just lack of appropriate B vitamins (meaning, doctors give the diagnosis without much investigation).

And/or you don't have enough magnesium and when your muscles tighten in response to the cold, they can't relax, and also contract more (that gets a bit complicated, so let's just go with that).

The quick answer is to 'stay out' longer, and/or run your hands/forearms under hot water for a wee bit between dips.

Do that, and let me know what happens.

Mar 22, 2018
by: Arnie L.

Well, I am somewhat unique...I survived leukemia and a bone marrow transplant 3 years ago.

I do get little oddities here and there, but I am very healthy now. I'm 57 and I train in the gym like I'm 27.

Anyway, they do a lot of routine blood work on me every six months, and all my mineral levels are normal as well as my B vitamins. The only thing that was low this time around was my Vitamin D.

It was only 25, so I need to bring that up to at least 50. Otherwise, I eat pretty strictly Mediterranean style with no junk food. I started giving myself 5 minutes between dipping as of yesterday, and the tremors and cramps have already subsided significantly. I think that may have been it. BTW...I had Levaquin induced tendonitis in my forearm back in 2012, and your methods cured me within 30 days. I'm a believer. Thanks!!! Arnie


Joshua Comments:

Ok good, then you know what I was about to say about Magnesium!

Mar 23, 2018
Over Dipping
by: Arnie L.

My magnesium was 2.4. Well within normal lab range, but is that enough for tendons? :)


Joshua Comments:

ON the ranges I'm aware of, 2.4 is at the very low end of the range.

And, your blood serum levels will always be 'in range'. Because your body is designed to keep them there.

But we don't really want to know the blood serum levels (for the above reason), we want to know how much the cels have available.

You can be deficient (cells not have enough) because the body pulls it all to keep the blood serum level in range.

Your 2.4 is the low end of the range (unless your tests gives numbers where 2.4 isn't at the bottom of the range), which makes it SUPER likely that your cells don't have enough either.

So no, not enough for the tendons.

Mar 24, 2018
"Over Dipping??"
by: Arnie L.

OK...Thanks....I have been taking 1 - 250 mg chelated magnesium tablet per day. I'll bump that up to three per day (750 mg)and see what happens. I understand that I shouldn't exceed 900 mg.


Joshua Comments:

Your body needs as much as your body needs.

You can (and maybe/possibly/likely should) exceed 900. If you're in pain, then you need magnesium (and 250mg/day just isn't enough).

But 900 is a good number and relatively easy to do that much in a day (As a rule I say this every time....-but do not take that 900mg all at once or you're be on the toilet for a while).

You were working with the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution much magnesium were you taking?

Mar 24, 2018
by: Arnie L.

I was doing 900 mg. per day, not including what I got from my diet, which was rich in leafy greens and such. So, not sure how much above the 900 I was taking in supplement form. I was cured in about 5 or 6 weeks though.

What likely isn't helping me though, is that I still train hard. The pullups are the only exercise that bothers my arm some. I wear a copper infused sleeve and a velco strap which helps a lot. It doesn't hurt much during the pullups, only the next day a little. That's also when the tremors return. They last about a day, then subside again.

I stick to body weight exercise though. No weights as of now. I've been an avid gym rat for over 40 years, and it's hard for me to slow down.

I hope that I haven't developed tendonosis from the tendonitis. Funny thing is, due to the consistent icing and self massage on the elbow, the pain has subsided dramatically, and it feels like it's healing quite well. It's just that I have developed those tremors and hand cramping.

Hopefully the magnesium does it. I likely should take it much easier on the pullups though. :(



Joshua Comments:

Yeah, I'd definitely get back up to 900mg+. It will help your continued recovery, help you remain a gym rat for decades, etc.

That you feel better after the Fluoroquinolone is great and awesome and good, -and- decrease in pain doesn't generally mean you're 'fixed', in the sense that, basically, your body still needs magnesium and there's still a lot happening under the surface of your skin that could/still needs to improve.

And it's been my experience that post-FQ you'll just be a lot happier over time with higher levels of magnesium intake. It seems that for any number of reasons complex or simple, post-FQ you have higher magnesium requirements.

You'll have to play with it over time, but in general ESPECIALLY if you want to remain a gym rat...magnesium is your best friend.

Mar 25, 2018
by: Arnie L.

Will do on the magnesium. If I'm continuing the ice dipping ice massage, and getting enough magnesium, is it safe to continue to train as it heals, or should I stop training until it does? Also, could I now have tendonosis instead of just tendonitis now?


Joshua Comments:

From a FQ perspective, it's most likely to continue training (go conservative, build up to it, etc), as from what you've said you don't sound like your FQ side effects were that severe, comparably.

And if a tendon is going to rupture from FQ, then the damage has already been done. Not running (for instance) will help prevent the rupture from actually happening, but the tissue damage has already been done (such that it -could- rupture with a step).

And you're talking forearm, so you should be fine.

I wouldn't worry so much about tendonosis as a thing.

MOst cases of tendonitis show tendonosis as well (as observed by surgeons). It kind of goes hand in hand for the reasons it does.

You want to improve the entire ecology of the forearm - plenty of nutrition available, open up the muscle/connective tissue to restore function, reduce inflammation process.

That's what takes care of tendonosis/tendonitis.

Mar 26, 2018
by: Arnie L.

Thanks!...I'll continue on with your advice, and advise in the future.


May 29, 2018
Worse before it get's better?
by: Joe

Hello, I'm so glad I found your page. I was dx'd with De Quervains & started doing the ice dipping for the past week.

I've noticed that the pain & stiffness is getting worse?? I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis but it's in remission. I discussed with my RA Dr. & he doesn't feel it's a RA flareup but the overall healing process could be hampered slightly by being prone to having inflammation due to the RA even though it's in remission.

My question is, does the thumb tenosynovitis get worse before it get's better upon initial ice dipping??

Also, does having a few drinks on the weekend like this past Memorial Day weekend effect tendons at all? Seems as though I'm a lot more tender after a night of drinking?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joe.

1. Drinking depletes nutrition. Tendon pain is partly caused by lack of nutrition.

So it is entirely possible that the drop in nutrition from drinking can increase pain symptoms.

2. Icing shouldn't 'make things worse', but it can make you more accurately aware of what's actually going on under the surface of the skin.

If your body can't handle the physiological stress of the icing, that could increase symptoms. Ironically, that would be a nutritional insufficiency thing.

3. Is your doctor one of those doctors that thinks that Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of those mysterious, incurable diseases?

4. Inflammation is a big deal with DeQuervain's and with RA. RA being in 'remission' doesn't necessarily mean there's a decreas in the inflammation process.

Sep 09, 2018
Questions About Ice DIpping
by: Nuria

Hi Joshua,

First of all thank you so much for everything. I purchased your DVD, and although I'm still waiting for it to arrive (I live in Spain), I'm already doing all the self care you talk about in your ebook.

The thing is that I noticed that when I ice my wrist, and I tap after that on the carpal tunnel I get that annoying electric shock through my hands. This only happens after icing.

And another thing is that I overdid the icing. I was using an ice pad and I kinda lost track of time so I spent more time than I should have icing the wrist. I'm scared this is going to erase all the progress I was making.

Thanks again!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nuria.

"I'm already doing all the self care you talk about in your ebook. "

Great. That's 50ish% of the program.

"This only happens after icing."

Cold causes muscle to contract (long story short). This, long story short, compresses tissue around nerve. Then you tap on it so the kinetic energy basically has no buffer/dampening to keep the impact from directly 'hitting' the nerve.

"I'm scared this is going to erase all the progress I was making."

Why exactly?

Years Of Wrist Tendonitis Ice Dipping Really Helps

Wrist Tendonitis And Ice DIpping Long Term Questions

Apr 26, 2019
How long to ice for?
by: Colin

Hi Josh, I have pain where the fingers meet the palm of my hand. This prevents closing of fingers and results in overall hand weekness. Ive started the icing routine over the last couple of days. ( no change yet ). My question, Is it bad to ice longer than 10 secs and why? The first couple of times I was leaving my whole forearm in the ice for 1 min, then I re-read your notes stating 5-10 secs only.




Joshua Comments:

There's no particular downside to longer. If it feels good, do it.

Having said that, all we're after is the shock of the cold (that triggers a reflexive response). And that doesn't take very long. So anything longer than, say, 10-20 seconds is kiiiiiind of a waste of time.

Again, if longer feels good, go for it. But there isn't, in general, for our purposes, much more benefit in dipping longer.

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