Cryotheraphy

Cryotheraphy

CRYOTHERAPY FOR INJURY REPAIR & PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT:
The use of ice, or cryotherapy, for musculoskeletal injuries has been a primary treatment approach used by healthcare providers for many years. Today, cryotherapy use continues to be a proven and beneficial adjunct to managing soft tissue injury. It is proposed that applying cooling to a musculoskeletal injury decreases the tissue temperature, resulting in diminished pain, cellular metabolism, and muscle spasm, thus minimizing the inflammatory response and improving recovery after soft tissue trauma.
SUMMARY:
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, when used in the proper clinical situation can diminish pain, metabolism, and muscle spasm, thus minimizing the inflammatory response and improving recovery after soft tissue trauma.

Benefits of compression used in conjunction with cryotherapy include improved contact between the skin and the cold source, greater reduction of blood flow to the region, and an increased insulation effect, which may further reduce tissue temperatures.

Caution should be used when applying to areas where a superficial nerve is located. It is recommended that the best practice is to always check with the individual’s physician to see if any medical condition may prevent the use of cryotherapy. Joints and muscles may benefit from the routine use of cryotherapy even when an injury has not taken place.
THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE:
An inflammatory response occurs at the site of the injury and is the local, tissue-level response to the injury and the mechanism by which a tissue heals. Signs of tissue inflammation may include pain, redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased function. Inflammation can develop from both acute injuries, such as ligament sprains or tears, and chronic injuries, such as arthritis or tendinitis. Swelling of the injured region is not uncommon and contributes to loss of movement and ultimately a decrease in function.
THERAPEAUTIC EFFECTS OF ICE:
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a common modality used in the treatment of soft tissue injuries. Cold therapy has an impact on a tissue’s metabolism, pain
response, and hemodynamics, thus aiding in the management of the inflammatory response. It has also been demonstrated that the application of cryotherapy
decreases blood flow to the injured region, thus reducing edema formation. The combined effects of decreased energy requirements, reduced blood flow,
analgesic response, and swelling reduction all diminish the tissue’s inflammatory response, ultimately resulting in a shortened healing process and hastened
return to activity.
ROLE OF COMPRESSION:
Compression is often used in conjunction with cryotherapy. Benefits of compression include improved contact between the skin and the cold source, greater
reduction of blood flow to the region, and an increased insulation effect, which may further reduce tissue temperatures. Compression also assists with control
of edema formation that may arise after injury or secondary to microtrauma sustained during a hard workout.