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Taking A Look At The Benefits Of Cold Therapy Treatment For Injury Recovery
Many people are familiar with cold therapy treatment without even knowing it. Growing up, the normal response to getting hurt in one way or another was to "ice it."
Putting ice on an injury is a known way to relieve pain and improve recovery times. Cold therapy is simply the natural progression of that idea. Naturally, cold treatment is more involved than a simple ice pack and provides more results.
We're going explore the idea of cold therapy in this article, giving you some insight into how it works and what it could do for you.
Injury Recovery: The Benefits of Cold Therapy Treatment
If the ideas in this article seem useful to you, it's important to bring the concepts up to your physical therapist and develop a plan.
With that in mind, let's get started:
1. Immediate Pain Relief
In the short term, cold treatment can reduce your pain immediately. Right after an injury occurs, an ice pack can do several things to improve symptoms.
First, the temperature numbs a person's skin in the injured area. The cold seeps deep into your skin and helps to numb the muscles and ligaments as well. These factors can save you from a great deal of immediate pain.
Icing immediately can also save you pain in the long-run. Inflammation occurs as an immune response to areas that receive additional blood flow. Excessive inflammation in times of injury can reduce recovery time and lead to additional pain.
Applying cold to an affected area as it's receiving additional blood flow can reduce the amount of inflammation and prevent you from any adverse effects.
2. Recover from Surgery
Cryotherapy is a common form of recovery from surgery. The term "cryotherapy" has several definitions, but all of them pertain to submerging your body in a particularly cold area.
In the past, this meant regularly lowering your body into a bathtub filled with ice. Cryotherapy can even refer to putting an icepack on an injured area.
Currently, though, there's an even better option for those looking to use cryotherapy. A Cryo Chamber, or CryoSauna as some call it, is an enclosed area that shoots extremely cold air at your skin for a short time.
The process is akin to taking an ice bath but much quicker and, potentially, much more effective. Cryo Chambers can reduce post-surgical inflammation and eliminate dead tissue, two things that are beneficial to those who have had surgery.
Chambers aren't the only professional method of applying extreme cold, though. There's a wide range of pads, slings, and braces that offer the benefits of cryotherapy. You can learn about cold therapy and its various methods to get an idea of these applications.
3. Increased Recovery from Workout
You don't have to wait until you're injured to experience the benefits of cold therapy treatment. There's evidence to show that those who experience muscle damage through exercise have quicker recovery times when they use cryotherapy after they leave the gym.
That means you can get back to exercising sooner and increase your overall results. Additionally, the research showed that most of the people who underwent cold therapy after exercising were able to perform better than those who didn't.
That advantage can reduce the odds that you'll be injured while you're exercising after you start using cold therapy. Naturally, the degree to which you use cold therapy and whether or not your treatment is overseen by a professional will affect the results.
4. Can Improve Mental Health Disorders
The primary effects of cold therapy come from the fact that extreme temperatures incite a physiological response from your body.
Part of this response is hormonal, including endorphins, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and more. The release of these hormones can boost a person's spirits, especially when that individual has depression.
Chronic depression is created, in part, by unusual endorphin and dopamine behavior. Another symptom is lethargy and a chronic low mood. Sparking endorphins contributes to positive emotions, and adrenaline will boost a person's energy levels.
Whether or not cryotherapy addresses the underlying or behavioral issues involved in depression, the short-term benefit of treatment is certainly beneficial to those with depression. The same can be said for those with anxiety.
Rice Injury Treatment
If you're sure you have an injury but don't feel the need to see a doctor or physical therapy, the RICE treatment is one of the best forms of cold therapy. In fact, it's one of the most common ways to treat an injury from home.
RICE stands for "Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation."
Rest means that you should stop the activity immediately when you feel like something is wrong. Any significant pain is an indication that you should begin the resting process. Whether or not someone tells you to keep going, your body should have the final say.
Something like a sprained or twisted ankle requires that you avoid activity for roughly two days.
Once you get off your feet, you should ice the affected area. A simple ice pack wrapped in some kind of cloth will do. Apply the pack to the area for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes then remove.
Repeat the icing process about every two hours for the first couple of days after the injury.
Compression helps the affected area to stop swelling. The added blood flow to the area can lead to a lot of swelling which may compound the effects of your injury. Wrap a bandage of some kind around the issue enough to prevent swelling without restricting blood flow.
If your wrap starts to turn your wound different colors, cut off the sensation, or lead to a tingliness, loosen the wrap and find a tension that works. There shouldn't be any of those effects with a properly wrapped bandage.
When you raise the affected area above the level of your heart, this will reduce the amount of pain you feel. Additionally, there will be less throbbing and swelling.
Do this as much as you can and for as long as you can. The longer you're elevating, the better.
Want to Learn More?
There's a lot to learn about cold therapy treatment and moving forward from an injury in general. We're here to help.
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