R. I. C. E, an important treatment method, where ‘I’ stands for Ice, is really important for treating any injuries to soft tissues. The other letter stands for Rest, Compression and Elevation. Though these three are important while treating an injury, ice treatment does wonders and it is helpful immediately after an injury and throughout the recovery. Though in many injuries, swelling and inflammation are unavoidable, still applying an ice pack to the area would considerably reduce it and in some cases would completely suppress it.
Cold Therapy Units and their Benefits
Cold therapy, otherwise called as cryotherapy is a time-tested method in the treatment of injuries in soft tissues like muscles, tendons, etc. In olden days, frozen ice was used directly on the affected area and the ice would melt away easily and there won’t be any consistency in the way ice is applied. But, nowadays, cold therapy units that are available in the market is made up of advanced technology where there is a constant cooling given to the area that is injured. Combined with the other recovery methods (R. IC. E), applying cold therapy to the affected area is beneficial. These units are becoming highly popular and many doctors, physiotherapists, trainers and surgeons recommend this.
• If ice is used directly on the injured area, it doesn’t give consistent cooling, as it melts away. But, by using a cold therapy unit, a consistent cooling is given at the same temperature during the therapy session.
• As there is consistency, the cold penetrates deeper into the affected area, which is beneficial to more of the affected tissues which are getting benefitted from less edema, swelling and pain.
• An ice pack can be concentrated only on the area where there is a wound and the surrounding areas may not be covered up. But, in cold therapy units a wrap is provided which covers the surrounding areas too.
• Cold therapy units help in lessening the pain immediately after an injury and also during the recovery process. This not only helps one to lead a normal life, but also improves the physical activities that would have been curtailed due to the injury.
• Moreover, cold therapy units are not only useful for recovery from pain it is also helpful for people who do a rigorous workout. As one’s body needs enough time to recover from rigorous exercising and workout, cold therapy units can be utilized. It is also said that lactic acid that is produced more during a workout reduces the performance of the body. But, a cold therapy unit or at times, having an ice bath flushes the lactic acid produced in the body and makes one ready for the next session.
• These units are not designed only concentrating on only one body part. But, they specifically designed pads are available that can be used for any body part like knees, shoulders, legs, arms, etc. where injuries are most often seen.
Though there are many benefits of using cold therapy units, it’s always better to buy one that the doctor or physiotherapist suggests.