When applying ice to small, focused areas like an Achilles or your knee, here is a quick tip that you can use to help keep direct contact between your skin and the injured area. One problem with ice packs, plastic bags of ice cubes, is that while these are OK for icing broad areas, they are not ideal for directing ice to a very focused area.
Ice is one of the main components of the RICE principle. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Ice is used to help reduce swelling and inflammation of the muscles or soft tissues. After a recent bout with Achilles Tendonitis, I learned a little trick for icing this area and it is from items you probably already have around the house.
Use a small Dixie cup. Since I run a running club, I use the small 5 oz Gatorade cups since we buy them in bulk by the thousands. Simply take a few, fill them up with water just below the edge, and put them in your freezer. After frozen, simply tear the edges away and apply the ice to the affected area. When treating my Achilles, these were so much easier to use because I could easily move it around the back and sides of my Achilles.
The following photo (left to right: empty cup, frozen cup, cup in use):