People have been using cold therapy for quite some time to treat various medical conditions. For example, when you immerse yourself in cold water, you activate the natural healing powers of the body. Such powers relieve the body of numerous medical conditions as well as promoting a sense of well-being.
Specifically, cold water immersion provides long-lasting changes to the immune, lymphatic, digestive, and circulatory systems. In turn, this improves the overall quality of life. Additionally, cold water therapy improves metabolism, according to scientists.
It is against this backdrop that scientists and medics are using ice to treat various medical conditions. Mind you, sportspeople extensively use this method to accelerate the healing of wounds sustained during sports activities.
Cold Therapy for Injuries
Also known as cryotherapy, cold therapy reduces blood flow to specific areas of interest. Minimizing blood flow to injured areas usually minimizes swelling and inflammation, which causes pain. Again, cold therapy reduces nerve activity, which relieves pain.
There are various methods of applying cold therapy to injured areas. They include:
- Coolant sprays
- Ice packs/frozen gel packs
- Ice massage
- Ice baths
- Use of ice compression machines
With advancing technology, improved methods of practicing cold therapy arise. These methods aim at delivering efficient results as well as making the whole process easier for patients. For instance, you can use the following methods:
- Cryostretching: while stretching, muscles tend to experience spasms. Cryostretching utilizes cold to minimize the occurrence of spasms while stretching.
- Cryokinetics: This method combines both cold treatment and active exercise to alleviate pain and accelerate healing, especially for sprains on the ligaments.
- Whole-body cold therapy chambers: this method uses dry fresh oxygenated air, which eliminates reactions associated with cold. The technique allows full motion range for muscles, rejuvenating muscles and skin, and giving a general feeling of warmth.
Cold Therapy Systems
Since cold therapy aid in the healing process, you can use it to complement the use of pain killers. People undergoing knee surgery or replacement, use cold therapy to keep away the pain and inflammation.
With the advent of ice machines, you can target the injured area. For instance, a cold therapy system can deliver ices directly at the injured knee. Moreover, it offers consistent cooling as well as excellent compression, regardless of whether you are using gravity fed or motor fed ice compression machines. An impressive part is the machines are easy to use.
Using the Ice Machines
The basic structure of the therapy system comprises ice machines, tubes, and ice pack wrapping. So you’ll have to connect the tubing to the ice machine on one end and to the ice pack wrapping on the other end.
Wrap the ice pack around your injured or replaced knee and switch on the ice machine. The ice machine releases cold/chilled water into the ice pack around your injured knee. Subsequently, it applies low temperatures reducing pain and inflammation.
A cold therapy system is the best way to deliver child water and the right compression to an injured knee. There are various kinds of systems, some using brushless motors while others use gravity. The bottom line is all are effective, and you can use them even while sleeping.