Cryotherapy is a term that describes the application of ice, cold towels, ice massage and compresses to reduce the temperature of tissues directly on or below the surface of the skin.
Surface cooling constricts blood vessels, numbs painful areas, and helps relax muscle spasms. Cold temperatures reduce nerve transmission of painful symptoms and provide temporary relief.
Ice is most often used to manage acute injuries or recent eruptions of chronic conditions. Cooling affected tissues is effective in reducing and preventing post-traumatic swelling. Local cooling should be applied several times a day during the initial stages of an injury.
Cryotherapy is inexpensive, readily available, and an easy way to reduce local swelling of inflamed tissue.
-Helps reduces swelling and inflammation
-Numbs affected area to reduce pain
-Reduces muscle spasms
-Inexpensive and can be self-applied
Hot packs, warm most towels, heating pads, water bottles and infrared lamps are often used to help raise the temperature of soft tissues directly below the surface of the skin.
Heat applied to the surface of the skin enlarges blood vessels below the surface, relaxing tissues and can temporarily relieve painful symptoms. Increasing circulation and relaxing muscles is helpful before or after chiropractic adjustments, exercises, and other treatments.
Heat is usually recommended for the relaxation of tissues in spasm and temporary relief of the symptoms associated with chronic pain and muscle tightness.
Using heat to calm tissues suffering from long term spasm or irritation is an easy way to increase flexibility, range of motion, and promote increased circulation to speed the healing process.
-Help increase circulation
-Relaxes muscle tension
-Reduces joint stiffness
-Prepares tissues for rehabilitation
-Widely available and inexpensive