Ice therapy is one of the most effective solutions for mild injuries and inflammation. Whether you’ve sprained a muscle or are experiencing pain from a diagnosed condition, applying a cold compress can help manage discomfort.
What Is Ice Therapy?
Ice therapy is also called cold therapy or cryotherapy. It decreases blood flow in a specific area to reduce swelling. Another reason why ice therapy is effective for treating pain is that cold temperatures decrease nerve activity, decreasing pain. Cold therapy tends to work great for tendon, muscle, and joint pain.
Ice therapy is a common remedy prescribed for the following:
Types of Ice Therapy
Ice therapy comes in many forms. The main component is a cold object that you can apply to a problem area. Common ice therapy options are:
- Coolant sprays
- Ice baths
- Ice packs
- Ice massages
- Frozen gel packs
- A frozen bag of vegetables
More advanced types of ice therapy are:
- Cryokinetics, a combination of physical activity and a cold compress
- Cryostretching, wherein you perform stretching exercises while applying a cold compress
- Cold therapy chambers, wherein you immerse your whole body inside a cold temperature-controlled chamber
How to Use Ice Therapy
Wrap ice or a cold item in a thin cloth or towel. Applying ice directly to your skin can damage skin tissue. Apply the cold item for 10 to 20 minutes, then remove it. Repeat several times a day, as needed.
When to Avoid Ice Therapy
Note that people with diabetes are not encouraged to use ice therapy. Diabetes affects how you sense pain and may prevent you from detecting potential tissue damage from ice therapy. The same goes for all other patients who suffer from certain sensory disorders.
Cold therapy may also harm people with stiff joints and muscles or people with circulation problems.
Advanced Cold Therapy Systems
Cold therapy devices are advanced forms of ice therapy. Instead of applying ice to a specific body part, you can use cold therapy systems that allow for a more controlled, convenient, and comfortable application of cold.
What Are Cold Therapy Systems?
Cold therapy machines run ice-cold water through a wrap that compresses a body part, simultaneously providing the benefits of compression and cold, improving healing. The water cycles between the compress and an ice reservoir to maintain a stable temperature.
Cold therapy machines are only purchasable by or at a medical professional’s instructions. If you would like to experience the benefits of an advanced cold therapy system, you can conveniently purchase one directly from us.
All About Ice Therapy
Ice therapy is a highly effective remedy for painful swelling by reducing blood flow. Decreased blood flow can mitigate discomfort and inflammation.
There are different types of ice therapy available today. These include coolant sprays, ice packs, frozen gel packs, and advanced forms of cold therapy, such as cold therapy systems. Ice therapy and cold therapy can sometimes be combined with physical therapy to increase the benefits of both.
However, cold therapy is inadvisable for people with diabetes, sensory disorders, and poor circulation. If the pain does not disappear after ice therapy, consult your doctor.
State-of-the-Art Orthopedics In Baltimore, MD
At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, we regularly help patients suffering from a variety of orthopedic injuries and conditions. Our esteemed team of orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, and podiatrists is trained in all the best treatment techniques to help patients. We offer comprehensive care and physical therapy to return you to full strength.