Ice is a simple, safe and effective way to care for injury, pain and tenderness in the muscles and joints.
The most common form of cold therapy is the ice pack. An ice pack should be placed over the affected area for 15-20 minutes per hour. The cold decreases muscle tightness and slows nerve firing all resulting in a decrease in soreness and inflammation.
Ice packs used to be just that… ice packed in a bag and placed on the injured or sore area. Nowadays they are quite advanced and referred to more as ‘cold packs’ since they no longer have water in them.
Many cold packs, including those we sell at Express Chiropractic in Keller, can be placed directly on the skin requiring no towel or t-shirt to act as a buffer for protecting the skin.
When you think of an ice bath you think of elite athletes sitting down in a cold bath of ice water to help reduce soreness in their beat up bodies. While they are no doubt used to this, it’s still not fun.
While most of us don’t need to sit in an ice bath, putting a sprained ankle or wrist into a bucket containing ice water is a highly effective way to reduce swelling and pain.
Theories behind ice baths say that exposure to cold helps to battle small tears in muscle and ligament fibers.
Cryotherapy is another form of icing that has evolved over the past few years, and has become very popular. Cryotherapy is used to decrease inflammation, soreness and spasm in the muscles.
However, cryotherapy goes beyond just the health benefits of the musculoskeletal system by having an impact on the body at the cellular level by stimulating a natural healing response.
Our friends at Celsius Cry Spa in Keller can answer more questions for you. They are great guys over there and will take good care of you.
In summary, cold therapy in the form of an old-school ice pack to the newer cryotherapy approach is a great option for reducing inflammation and muscle soreness in addition to other health benefits.