Cold therapy, sometimes called "ice pack" therapy, is one of the many treatments used to rehabilitate a patient after an injury. It is especially beneficial because it’s an easy, natural, and risk-free way to improve your health condition. If applied properly, cold therapy will have tremendous positive effects on your recovery.
There are many ways that cold therapy contributes to the healing of the patient's physical injuries. Here we've listed the main benefits of cold therapy and the reasons why they work.
According to the Gate Control Theory of Pain, applying non-painful sensations, such as cold therapy, prevents and reduces painful sensations. The cold temperature numbs nerve endings which decreases pain transmission. This process also increases your ability to withstand pain. In addition to that, cold therapy is also known to help increase the production of endorphins—the feel-good hormones.
Cold therapy narrows the blood vessels in a process called vasoconstriction. This process helps in controlling blood flow and directing it to the area that needs more nutrients and oxygen. And since blood flow to the injured area is reduced, that also means that inflammation and swelling are reduced.
Spasms occur when the muscles are overused, strained, or injured. This is usually caused by repetitive movements or improper posture. Although spasms are short-lived, they can be very painful. And if not treated properly, they can become recurring. Applying cold therapy on the cramped muscles reduces pain. Since pain is decreased, the muscle relaxes which causes the contraction to also decrease.
When you get injured, the body's reaction is to send more blood to the injured area. This also releases cytokines which can kill the germs in the body. However, cytokines also attract inflammatory cells. With the increase of inflammatory cytokines to the affected area, the swelling increases and so does the pain. By constricting the blood flow to the injured area using cold therapy, the inflammation process slows down as well. This allows the body to focus on healing instead of the pain.
Cold therapy can be used for treating both recent injuries and chronic health conditions with a high rate of success. And as long as it's performed by a professional, cold therapy is completely safe. Some of the conditions that benefit from cold therapy include chronic pain, sprains and strains, ligament and muscle injuries, and contusions that cause swelling or bruising.
At The Right Spinal Clinic, get your cold therapy performed by our professional health care team. This ensures the effectiveness of the treatment to reduce swelling and pain. At the same time, especially when combined with our other rehabilitation treatments, the healing process becomes faster.
To know more about our services and to schedule an appointment, call us today at (813) 392 2164.