The term Cryotherapy (also known as cold therapy) originates from Greek word ‘Cryo’ which means cold or icy, and ‘Krous’ which translates to treatment. Any treatment which uses ice or low temperatures to cure an ailment, technically qualifies as cryotherapy. Cold therapy is typically applied by using ice packs, ice massage, cold therapy systems and topical pain relief creams to reduce pain, muscle spasms, swelling and inflammation at the affected area.
The numerous health benefits of cryotherapy make it worth a try. Let’s check out the 9 reasons for choosing cryotherapy for pain management:
Cryotherapy was first used by Egyptians around 3000 BC. The ancient Egyptian medical text known as ‘Edwin Smith Papyrus’ repeatedly mentions cold therapy to treat inflammation of infected wounds and reduce pain. Ancient Greeks used heat and cold compression therapy as a natural pain relief technique to alleviate the pain and swelling from injuries. Today, with the advancement of science we have the luxury to apply cold therapy benefits through advanced cold therapy systems and topical pain relievers.
Healthcare professionals recommend Cryotherapy since it is free of NSAID medication. It is safer than oral pain relievers and doesn’t cause complications like drug overdose, addiction or other harmful side effects. People who are reluctant to use painkillers and want a natural pain relief remedy see cryotherapy as an easy and safe alternative. It is found that the people who use cryotherapy require none or much less pain relief medication, which helps them resume their daily routine quickly.
Cryotherapy works on the principle of Pain Gate Theory. According to pain gate theory, the perception of pain in our brain is regulated by nerve cells. The nerves transmit the perceived pain signals from the skin of the injured area to the brain via spinal cord. Cryotherapy numbs the nerve endings of the painful area and sends a cold sensation to the brain. The cold sensation overrides and blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain. In simple terms, cryotherapy gives our brain something else to think about rather than feel pain.
Additionally, cryotherapy reduces the rate of cell damage and swelling which is directly related to pain. Low temperature created by cryotherapy cools the skin's surface and underlying tissues, which constricts the blood vessels of the injured area by a process called vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction of blood vessels slows down the leakage of fluids into the tissues. As the cold continues to penetrate the skin, the cold-induced vasoconstriction decreases the oxygen requirement of cells. The reduction in metabolic rate of the injured cells provides relief from muscle spasms and lowers sensitivity to pain. Cryotherapy is recommended as soon as injury has occurred. It is most effective when used within 72 hours post injury. Cryotherapy is substantially beneficial while managing pain and swelling, particularly around an injured joint or tendon.
The exposure to cold temperatures raises adiponectin levels in the body, which makes cryotherapy an effectual technique for treating all major inflammation related ailments. According to the study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, cryotherapy was found to be highly effective in providing pain relief to people suffering from fibromyalgia. Cryotherapy temporarily reduces nerve activity, which helps relieve pain that comes with sprains, sore muscles, stretched ligaments, injured joints and strained tendons. It is especially beneficial for athletes, and gym buffs who suffer from lower back pain, stiff neck, muscle soreness and knee pain. It is regularly recommended by physical therapists to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorders, spondylitis, psoriasis, dermatitis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sciatica and osteoporosis.
The cryotherapy is an easy, safe and effective pain relief home remedy. The huge advantage of this self care technique is that you can be mobile, independent and active while it's healing your body. An alternative method to apply cold therapy is via topical pain relievers. You can apply topical pain reliever cream, gel, spray or roll-on directly onto the sore and stiff muscles and let it air dry. The FAA compliant size of Topical Pain Reliever Roll-On is great for individuals who want to keep up with their active lifestyles. These pain relief products contain ingredients like Menthol and Camphor to provide quick relief from chronic pain and muscle aches using pain gate phenomenon of Cryotherapy. With specially selected herbs and natural ingredients like Aloe Vera Oil, Green tea Oil, Vitamin E, lavender oil, Arnica Flower Tincture and Boswella, the topical pain relief products like Biofreeze are gentle to skin and easy to apply.
Kids love outdoor activities and sports. To enable our children to reach their full athletic potential, we as parents must keep them motivated, healthy and pain free. Unfortunately, sports related injuries in children are estimated to be 2 million and more than 3.5 million children under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries annually in the USA. Cryotherapy is a safe, non-invasive and drug-free treatment for sports-related injuries for adults and kids alike. It reduces inflammation in muscles and joints, and improves body metabolism, immunity, stamina, mobility and flexibility. On May 2, 2016 the NJSIAA (New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association) recommended non-medication treatments like cryotherapy over prescription drugs for children.
Cryotherapy is the preferred treatment method for children with special needs. The results of a study provide evidence that when cryotherapy was combined with conventional physical and occupational therapy methods for children with spastic cerebral palsy, it reduced spasticity and translated into practical functional gains in the gross motor skills such as hand function.
Cooling Vests- Polar Cool Kids Cooling Vest
Cold Packs- Medline Curad Instant Cold Packs
Topical Pain Reliever (For children over 2 Years) - Polar Cool Kids Toddler Cooling Vest
While using ice to apply cold therapy is a compelling way to reduce pain, it does have certain disadvantages. Placing ice or frozen items like bag of frozen peas directly on skin can cause ice burns and damage the skin. The other harmful effects of using ice are skin irritation, stiffness, temporary pain and numbness. The inevitable leaks as the ice melts make it further messy. The specialized cold therapy wraps provide better coverage than a simple ice pack. Cold therapy wraps that conform to the body and have more uniform contact allow the therapeutic cold to reach all the damaged tissue in the injured area. The topical pain relievers and cold therapy systems with compression wraps are the ideal choice to apply targeted cold therapy
Cryotherapy generates a deeper, consistent cooling effect which lasts long after the therapy session has ended. The physiological effects of cold therapy include reductions in pain, blood flow, inflammation, edema, muscle spasm, and metabolic demand. The effective and long lasting cold therapy effect translates into less pain during the recovery process. Cryotherapy is found to be the most effective and inexpensive method for pain management. It not only helps improve quality of life, but also helps achieve long lasting pain relief and fast healing. Cryotherapy enables faster recovery and the patients can get back to normal life quickly, which is perhaps the greatest benefit of cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy due to its numerous benefits is frequently recommended by health care professionals, chiropractors, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, athletes, trainers, and coaches to relieve aches and pains, sore muscle, or discomfort. It is highly recommended by orthopedic surgeons after hip or knee replacement surgery to reduce the amount of blood loss and pain. It was found that cryotherapy improved the range of movement and flexibility of the knee joints for people with osteoarthritis.
Depending on the location of the injury, physical therapists recommend cryotherapy along with rehabilitation exercises like targeted stretching, strengthening exercises or massage therapy. According to research, people with hand arthritis got better pain relief from topical pain relieving creams when used in conjunction with hand massage in comparison to hand massage alone.
HealthProductsForYou.com carries cold therapy systems, cold therapy packs, tropical pain relievers and chilling units for cryotherapy applications on all types of injuries and surgical recoveries. Breg Polar Care Cold Therapy Units and Polar Active Cold Therapy Systems are the best choice for applying cryotherapy to different body parts and maximize the healing process. Whether you are suffering from chronic pain, have a sports injury, or are recovering from post operative surgery, cryotherapy is sure to help you get back to your normal life quickly.
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Hunaid Germanwala is digital marketer and content creator at Health Products For You since 2014. He has an MS from Ulm University in ...
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