If you’re dealing with a painful sprain or strain, a two-pronged attack may be your best option.
Using ice and menthol gel together nearly doubles the treatment punch, a study in the Journal of Athletic Training found. Used alone, either remedy for soft-tissue injury – ice or a gel – reduced blood flow to the injury site by about 25%, easing inflammation and swelling. Used in combination, however, they suppressed blood flow by 39%.
So for an ankle sprain or muscle strain, try doing this: apply a menthol gel, cover the area with plastic wrap, and then place a bag of ice over the area for 20 minutes (or try this method to Fix A Sprained Ankle).