Cryotherpay is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy or the removal of heat from a body part. The goal of cryotherapy is to decrease cellular metabolism, increase cellular survival, decrease inflammation, decrease pain and spasm and promote vasoconstriction.
Ice/cold packs therapy, or other applications such as biofreeze, is a treatment which employes cold temperatures to an injured area of the body. The ice/cold pack is placed over an injured area, or over an area after an aggressive treatment, and is intended to absorb heat of a swollen injury by using conduction to transfer thermal energy. The physiologic effects of cold application include immediate vasoconstriction with reflexive vasodilation, decreased local metabolism and enzymatic activity, and decreased oxygen demand. Cold decreases muscle spindle fiber activity and slows nerve conduction velocity, therefore it is often used to decrease muscular spasm and guarding. Also, it is commonly used to alleviate the pain of injuries.
Precision utilizes several forms of cryotherapy including cold packs, continuous-flow cryotherpay and Biofreeze®, a topical pain reliever. All of these modalities help to decrease pain, inflammation, and enhance the effects of the treatment. Cryotherapy is also a key component of our home exercise programs.
If you are suffering from a muscle spasm or just recently had a soft tissue injury, cryotherapy is an excellent way to help reduce swelling, further injury, and pain in the early stages of your healing process. Ice packs are rather inexpensive, easy to apply and is something that can be done at home as well as in the office.