Did you know cold therapy can be one of the greatest natural pain relievers? The world wide medical community has used cold therapy for years to help relieve pain and swelling from everything from minor aches and pains, chronic arthritis, joint pain and post surgical recovery and rehabilitation. The benefits of cold therapy far outweigh powerful narcotics and is a better alternative for your physical health and recovery.
Cold Therapy can reduce fluid accumulation that causes discomfort and pain by decreasing the body’s ability to “attack” the wounded area that initiates the body’s natural healing process. The application of cold on an isolated area slows the nerve endings immediate impulses to the brain to increase swelling and heat. By removing heat from the wounded area, the swelling can be reduced and the recovery time can be shortened as well.
When Do You Use Cold Therapy?
Cold therapy can be a great tool for a proactive recovery. Doctors often prescribe it for an injury or after surgery so you can feel better faster.
Examples of Popular Conditions for Cold Therapy:
• Post-Operative Knee Replacement Recovery
• Post-Operative Shoulder Surgery Recovery
• ACL Repair Recovery
• Hip and Back Surgery Recovery
• Rotator Cuff Repair Recovery
• Sports Injury Recovery
• Orthopedic Fractures
• Orthopedic Trauma and Incision Recovery
• Reduces Edema from sprains and strains
• Plastic Surgery Recovery
• Swollen joints
The Correct Way to Use Cold Therapy
Conventional cold therapy can have some negative side effects if used incorrectly. This usually happens when using homemade methods like dripping, wet ice packs or bags of frozen peas, for example;
• Ice packs often fail to achieve satisfactory therapeutic benefits for several reasons:
• Insufficient heat transfer due to low flow rate of coolant
• Danger of condensation
Ice packs and bags of frozen peas are much less effective in reducing pain and swelling because it is difficult to control the temperature on these and the inaccurate temperature can actually burn your skin. Make sure to always have a protective barrier between your skin and application site and only apply for 20 minutes at a time when using any form of cold therapy.
How Is Using Cold Therapy Unit More Effective Than Conventional Methods?
A good way to avoid the negative effects caused by those methods listed above is to use a cold therapy system or unit. They are specifically designed to circulate a more temperature controlled therapy through the pad instead of concentrate on one area. Traditional ice packs only provide a “Static” form of cold therapy, meaning there is no flow or movement. Cold therapy units provide a dynamic, or constant flow of cold therapy, allowing for better heat transfer. The most efficient heat transfer happens between the greatest differences of temperatures and when you have a high rate of cold water flow over the injured area. Dynamic cold therapy, provides a more consistent therapeutic temperature, thus accelerating the healing process and reducing pain, swelling, and the need for pain control medications.
You may not be aware, but the use of cold therapy during the rehabilitation process can speed up your recovery.
For example, research has shown that patients who have had a knee replacement and use cold therapy can gain the following benefits:
• People who received cold therapy had less blood loss than people who did not have cold therapy.
• People who received cold therapy reported less pain day after the second day post op.
• Patients who received cold therapy had better range of motion before being discharged from the hospital.
The added benefits of cold therapy provide an analgesic effect that enables the patient to perform physical therapy exercises earlier than would normally be without the use of cold therapy. The benefit cold therapy in conjunction with physical therapy is that it allows the muscles to contract, therefore actively pumping the swelling out of the area through the lymphatic system. By utilizing cold therapy, you can perform better range of motion exercises earlier patients who are not using cold therapy, thus reducing the swelling quicker.
By using cold therapy you are taking an important step in speeding up the recovery process, getting you back to the pain-free life you deserve. For years cold therapy has proven itself, and patients that have reported exceptional outcomes when using a cold therapy product. It’s easy to use and proven effective.