Ice water immersion for neuralgia

Posted by alh123 @alh123, May 14, 2022

I recently watched a short Netflix film about a woman in Finland attempting the world record for swimming under ice while breath holding. ( Hold your breath: the ice dive) . Great story.
I won’t give away any spoilers , but part of her story was that she previously had had a severely broken leg that required an immediate skin incision along her calf to relieve pressure called an escharotomy . This damaged a sensory nerve and resulted in a severe neuralgia that changed her life dramatically. I suffer from a similar neuralgia. She was encouraged to immerse it in ice water regularly as part of a physiotherapy treatment plan. After getting used to the pain ,she eventually immersed her whole body and started swimming in frozen lakes . It appears to have cured her neuralgia almost completely . She certainly seems to be living a very active life in the film.
Has anyone had any experience with or heard about ice water immersion as a treatment for neuralgia?
I may write the lady to find out more as it certainly worked for her , and I can see there is a certain logic to the physiology .

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain Support Group.

Hi @alh123, Thanks for starting this discussion. It certainly would be great if it helps you and others with neuralgia. I found an article from 2018 that discusses the topic in case you haven't seen it.

"n summary, this case report describes exposure to a single-session of sudden immersion into extreme cold water that was associated with an unexpectedly positive outcome of remission of intercostal neuralgia and associated reduced mobility. Feb 12, 2018" — Cold forced open-water swimming: a natural intervention to improve postoperative pain and mobilisation outcomes?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884262/

Here's the movie trailer in case others may also want to watch the show on Netflix – https://youtu.be/0_QWamRowc0

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hi @alh123, Thanks for starting this discussion. It certainly would be great if it helps you and others with neuralgia. I found an article from 2018 that discusses the topic in case you haven't seen it.

"n summary, this case report describes exposure to a single-session of sudden immersion into extreme cold water that was associated with an unexpectedly positive outcome of remission of intercostal neuralgia and associated reduced mobility. Feb 12, 2018" — Cold forced open-water swimming: a natural intervention to improve postoperative pain and mobilisation outcomes?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884262/

Here's the movie trailer in case others may also want to watch the show on Netflix – https://youtu.be/0_QWamRowc0

Jump to this post

Thanks for posting that info . Yes I’d seen that case study …quite miraculous, similar to the lady in the film. I will say that ice is still the only thing that gives me mild relief …more so in the early days . I used to go dip in the cold ocean and swim with one leg ( no , I didn’t go round in circles!) earlier on my journey , but nothing as drastic as ice water immersion. I wonder if it’s too late ? I’ll keep you posted , as I might as well try it.

REPLY

@alh123 What a wonderful story you share about ice .I have damaged nerves in groin into legs .I have found putting a cold cloth on my burning thighs relieved my thighs also Ice bags on groin and back has helped me immensely. This is a good relieve story for me and hopefully it will be for others suffering from neuralgia

REPLY
@lioness

@alh123 What a wonderful story you share about ice .I have damaged nerves in groin into legs .I have found putting a cold cloth on my burning thighs relieved my thighs also Ice bags on groin and back has helped me immensely. This is a good relieve story for me and hopefully it will be for others suffering from neuralgia

Jump to this post

Hi

I’ve just the Netflix show as well. Very interesting.
Have suffered from RSD (old terminology) for about 23 years in my right foot.
Becoming a cyclist was the best fix for my pain, that I discovered.
I still have the occasional pain when I’m not riding regularly.
I’ve always used heat to settle pain, but after watching the show, even trying ice pack for ten minutes it seems very effective.
I will experiment more with a bucket of ice water.

Thank you for the discussion
Kind Regards
Andrew D
Sydney Australia

REPLY
@apdavis1

Hi

I’ve just the Netflix show as well. Very interesting.
Have suffered from RSD (old terminology) for about 23 years in my right foot.
Becoming a cyclist was the best fix for my pain, that I discovered.
I still have the occasional pain when I’m not riding regularly.
I’ve always used heat to settle pain, but after watching the show, even trying ice pack for ten minutes it seems very effective.
I will experiment more with a bucket of ice water.

Thank you for the discussion
Kind Regards
Andrew D
Sydney Australia

Jump to this post

Welcome @apdavis1, Thanks for sharing what helps you with the pain. Exercise does seem to help with a lot of different conditions. I wished I still had the balance for cycling as that was one of the things I enjoyed, long bicycle rides. Do you mind sharing what brought you to Connect, what you were searching for?

REPLY

Saw this forum, after googling new theories Re cold water pain management for Neuralgia. Like a few on the forum, I saw the message design on the Netflix, Ice Swimming doco

Cheers

REPLY
@lioness

@alh123 What a wonderful story you share about ice .I have damaged nerves in groin into legs .I have found putting a cold cloth on my burning thighs relieved my thighs also Ice bags on groin and back has helped me immensely. This is a good relieve story for me and hopefully it will be for others suffering from neuralgia

Jump to this post

Yes thank you for posting

REPLY

I've not seen the Netflix doc but have read about this treatment in the book Wintering by Katherine May.

REPLY
@jodaer

I've not seen the Netflix doc but have read about this treatment in the book Wintering by Katherine May.

Jump to this post

Welcome @jodaer, I have not read the book Wintering by Katherine May but it does sound like another good reference for ice water immersation. GoodReads has a review on the book here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52623750-wintering.

Have you been diagnosed with neuralgia?

REPLY
@johnbishop

Welcome @jodaer, I have not read the book Wintering by Katherine May but it does sound like another good reference for ice water immersation. GoodReads has a review on the book here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52623750-wintering.

Have you been diagnosed with neuralgia?

Jump to this post

No, I haven't been dx with neuralgia. I have leg pain though and beings I'm a diabetic I'm assuming that is part of it. I'm familiar with some of the meds used to treat it and choose not to inflict that on myself again. As of now anyway as it's manageable.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.