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Cryotherapy(Cold Therapy)

Questions

What is Cryotherapy or Cold Therapy?

Cryotherapy is used just as heat is, in the rehabilitation of injuries. Cryotherapy is often used for pain relief, fever reduction, control bleeding, prevention or reduction of edema from trauma and inflammation, decrease in muscle spasm, and reduction of spasticity. Cold is usually applied during the first 24 to 48 hours following an injury. Applying cold first usually results in decreased fluid filtration into the tissue interstitium, decreased inflammation and pain, and a decrease in metabolic rate.

Effects of Cold Therapy

The decrease in the temperature of Skin/Soft Tissue leads to

·         Decrease in the blood flow

·         Vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) afterward followed by Vasodilatation

·         It prevents it against Hypoxic (absence of enough oxygen) damage. Cold therapy basically decreases the amount of blood flow delivered to an area

·         Reduces swelling.

·         Helps in reducing muscle spasm.

·         Decreases metabolic rate by limiting the oxygen flow to cells.

·         Reduces inflammation by decreasing blood flow due to contraction in blood vessels.

Conditions Treated

·         Osteoarthritis.

·         A recent Injury.

·         Gout.

·         Strains.

·         Tendinitis, or irritation in the Tendons Early acute injury and inflammation

·         Muscle spasm

·         Spastic conditions

·         Fever reduction

·         Edematous conditions

·         Emergency care for burns

·         Limited ROM secondary pain.

Contraindications

·         Angina pectoris or cardiac dysfunction.

·         Open wounds older than 48 to 72 hours.

·         Arterial insufficiency.

·         Decreased skin sensation or hypersensitivity.

·         Regeneration peripheral nerves.

·         Applying ice to tense or stiff muscles in the back or neck may make the pain worse.

·         People with Diabetic Neuropathy or another condition that reduces sensations of cold. It may be hard to know when cold is excessive in these cases.