Cold Therapy causes the blood vessels to constrict which can help minimise soft tissue damage. After injury keep cooling the affected area for up to 72 hours. Cold Therapy for aches and pains in muscles and joints is well established and recommended by sports physiotherapists and health professionals.
Use Cold Therapy for:
Dual Action: Cold + Fast Relief
ICE products provide both fast, targeted relief as well as Cold Therapy. The perfect combination to treat injuries and get you back into the game FAST!
Benefits of Cold Therapy:
- Fast, targeted cooling pain relief.
- Can aid tissue recovery after trauma, provide pain relief by decreased nerve conduction, and decreased swelling by contraction of blood vessels.
- Cold Therapy can help alleviate the pain associated with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which can occur 24-48 hours after exercise, when muscles have been strained.
Limitations of Ice Packs
- Can only apply onto the injury for 10 minute intervals
- Wet and will melt down
- Difficult to maintain application for up to 72 hours
- Uncomfortable to use on joints and multi-angled areas of the body
- Try Ice Gel and Ice Spray to overcome these limitations
APPLICATION OF COLD THERAPY
The process for using Cold Therapy as initial treatment for soft tissue injuries is based on the principles of PRICER and ‘avoid HARM’. These are most important in the first 72 hours following the injury and provide the tissue with the best possible environment for recovery, ultimately leading to a quicker return back to sport or activity.
P – Protection – Protect injured tissue from undue stress to limit inflammation and promote healing.
R – Rest – Avoid activities that increase blood flow which may lead to increased swelling and pain.
I – Ice – Limit damage and reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Bring out bruising.
C – Compression – Apply a firm bandage to limit swelling without restricting circulation or cause additional pain.
E – Elevation – Reduces/limits the swelling, reduces the pressure in the local blood vessels and helps to limit the bleeding into the area. Elevation above the heart is ideal.
R– Refer – Refer on to specialist management i.e. qualified medical practitioner.
In the first 72 hours, avoid:
H – Heat – Increases blood flow and swelling.
A – Alcohol Drinking – Alcohol increases blood flow and swelling, and may lead to injury aggravation.
R – Re-injury – Protect the joint until it has healed adequately.
M – Massage – Promotes blood flow and swelling. Massage can increase damage if begun too early.
Menthol can be used as a topical analgesic providing temporary pain relief. It also helps reduce swelling when applied immediately after injury.