COLD THERAPY

HOW COLD THERAPY WORKS

Cold Therapy Packs

Cold therapy or cryotherapy, works by temporarily reducing nerve activity and decreasing blood flow to the wounded area. This process significantly reduces inflammation and swelling that causes pain. 

There are different applications, the most common one is applying an ice pack or cold pack directly to the affected area. Although you can apply the ice pack several times a day, it should not be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time.

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TYPES OF ICE/COLD PACKS

There are many types of ice packs that can be used for pain relief. The most common types include:

Cold Therapy - Reusable icepack

Reusable Ice Pack

Reusable ice packs are usually filled with gel. It can be kept in the freezer ready for use when needed, and refrozen after each use.
Cold Therapy - Homemade icepack

Homemade Ice Pack

To make a homemade ice pack, simply put ice in a plastic bag, squeeze the air out, and then seal it. Wrap the bag in a towel before using it to protect the skin from ice burn.
Disposable icepack

Disposable Ice Packs

Single-use ice packs contain two bags inside. One bag is filled with water and is inside the other bag containing ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate. Once the inner bag of water is broken by squeezing the ice pack, it will dissolve the chemicals on the outer bag. An endothermic reaction will occur. This reaction absorbs the heat from the surroundings, lowering the ice pack's temperature almost instantaneously.

cold therapy PRECAUTIONS

As with all treatments, there are some precautions in applying ice for this therapy.

  • Limit application to 20 minutes to avoid getting an ice burn. 
  • Always use a protective barrier between ice and skin. 
  • Cold therapy should be avoided by patients with certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cold allergic conditions, and paralysis.

Cold therapy is generally helpful during the first 48 hours after an injury that strains the back muscles. Afterward, heat therapy will be more beneficial to the healing process. For some, alternating heat therapy and this therapy provides the most pain relief.

Heat Therapy - in Tampa FL

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