Spine Health: Cold Therapy

Utilize cold therapy properly if pain or injury occur. Correct ice pack usage is imperative to the healing process and injury recovery.

      Ice is effective on the spine and the extremities. Ice is one of the most common and most useful types of passive, non-invasive therapy.

      Ice or cold therapy is named cryotherapy. Cold therapy constricts the blood vessels, slowing circulation, thus resulting in reduction of pain, swelling and spasm.

      The proper application of an ice pack immediately following an injury or at the beginning of symptoms is paramount to preventing additional damage and recovering completely.

      Apply cold therapy as your first line of defense to a new injury. During the first 72 hours following the initial occurrence or recurrence of pain, cryotherapy should be used and heat therapy should be avoided.

      Contraindications to Cold Therapy: Cryotherapy is inadvisable over body parts where numbness, tingling or lack of sensation exist because the degree of coldness cannot be felt. Cold therapy should not be used if the following medical conditions are present: Raynaud’s Phenomenon, cold hypersensitivity, hives and skin irritation or rash caused by exposure to cold. The following conditions are not contraindications to cold therapy but precaution is necessary: Cardiac conditions, high blood pressure and healing wounds.

      Application: Cryotherapy should be applied on the painful area. Never apply cold therapy directly to bare skin. Protect the skin by placing a towel between the ice pack and skin. Overexposure to cold therapy may result in frostbite, skin damage and nerve damage.

      The proper time allotment for the application of ice treatment is between 10 to 15 minutes. This should be followed by a 60 to 120-minute break without the cryotherapy on the exact location. After the 60 to 120-minute break, the cold therapy may be re-applied for another 10 to 15 minutes. This cycle can be repeated several times to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasm.

      Self-Treatment is vital to spine health. Should an injury occur or pain begin, apply ice immediately. The proper application of cold therapy is an important ingredient in caring for your body.

      Incorporate the correct usage of cryotherapy into your spinal health strategies for optimum results. Utilize ice as self-treatment along with Chiropractic care, exercise, nutrition and ergonomics to develop and maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system.

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