Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Pain--Treatment; Ice--Therapeutic use;


Context: Ice bag application is a modality commonly used for pain relief in the athletic training setting, although there is limited evidence to support its use. This study evaluates the effectiveness of an ice bag application on musculoskeletal pain during the application. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of ice application on pain during treatment for musculoskeletal injury. Design: Case series design with repeated measures comparisons. Participants: Twenty injured participants (19.9 ± 1.3 years), 14 males and 6 females, participated in this study. Participants were receiving ice bag applications as part of their treatment provided by an athletic trainer. Methods: Prior to the ice bag application, participants rated their pain on the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). Then, a bag filled with crushed ice was applied to the injured site for 20 minutes. Participants were asked to rate their pain at minutes one, five, and 20 while the ice was applied and then immediately after the ice was removed. Main Outcome Measures: Pain was reported using the NRS and MPQ. A repeated measures MANOVA and repeated measures ANOVA were used to determine significant effects (P < .05). Paired t-tests with a Bonferonni adjustment (alpha = 0.05/4) were used for the post-hoc analysis. Results: There was a significant time effect (F(20,300)=5.63, p=0.001). The separate repeated measures ANOVA indicated that time had a significant effect for NRSTotal (F(2.03)=51.5, p=0.001), MPQTotal (F(1.98)= 21.4, p=0.001), MPQSensory (F(2.15)=27.1, p=0.001), MPQAffective (F(2.13)=4.28, p=0.019), MPQEvaluative (F(2.27), 6.55, p=0.002) indicating that pain significantly decreased over time. The miscellaneous section of the MPQ had a significant time effect which reflected an increase in pain (F(2.71)=7.61, p=0.001). Conclusion: Pain was significantly reduced by the ice bag application, beginning five minutes after the treatment began and lasted even after the ice bag was removed. Therefore, clinicians should continue the use of ice application for immediate relief of pain resulting from musculoskeletal injury.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Division of Athletic Training

First Advisor

Todd Evans, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 57 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download