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Cold Therapy: When is it effective and why

Cold Therapy: When is it effective and why

Why are ice baths so effective? 

We've all suffered minor injuries. Throwing out your back while working in the garden, pulling your hamstring while out for a jog, or twisting your ankle by simply stepping off a curb. Injuries are a fact of life, but their impact can be reduced with the right treatments. To reduce swelling and pain due to an injury, cold therapy is the best treatment. It is most effective during the first 48 hours after the injury occurs.

Ice is a vasoconstrictor that slows the blood flow to the injury site. To ice an injury, wrap ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for a maximum of 20 minutes: icing for longer than 20 minutes increases your risk of tissue damage. Allow your skin temperature to return to normal before subsequent icings, and ice an acute injury several times a day.

cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation

Using Battle Creek’s Ice-It! line of products is a convenient way to ice an injury. Battle Creek’s patented ice packs maintain their temperature longer, allowing for maximal therapy time without the mess of melting ice. The holstering system conveniently holds the pack in place for maximum benefit while remaining flexible enough for you to move around.

Topical pain relievers such as Biofreeze and Biotone Polar Lotion can be used in place of ice.  Both lotions are topical analgesics that use menthol to provide fast, deep, cooling relief from muscle and joint pain. These topical creams are quickly absorbed, making them ideal for use with physical therapies such as chiropractic and massage.

As cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, it is a useful treatment for acute pain or injuries. For chronic muscle or joint pain that has not been recently exacerbated and shows no signs of swelling or inflammation, heat therapy is generally the best option.

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