No matter what conflicting reports or headlines you’ve come across in the last few years telling you “NOT TO ICE” . . . the truth is there’s no definitive research that supports completely discontinuing the use of localized cryotherapy with your patients or athletes.
There are definitely some claims that have been made over the years with regards to ice’s ability to solve certain aspects of an injury that might not be true, such as the thought that ice helps to reduce swelling.
But whether it be the years of clinicians and athletic trainers having success with icing athletes after an injury to reduce acute pain . . . or the many animal studies that have shown positive results that icing can be a useful modality to address localized and systemic effects of trauma, the truth is we need more research to truly make a definitive determination.
Cryotherapy has been shown to be an effective, inexpensive therapeutic modality to:
- Act as a localized analgesic, which helps improve the patient’s ability to perform indicated movements,
- Promote local vasoconstriction, and
- Address acute phase localized inflammatory conditions, such as bursitis, tenosynovitis, and tendinitis, where heat may cause additional pain and swelling while at the same time not allowing the harmful aspects of inflammation to have a detrimental effect on surrounding healthy tissues.
Localized cryo, like the use of a reusable icepack, is also a healthier alternative than taking NSAIDs or opioid-based painkillers.
Benefits of an easy-to-use cryotherapy application, like a high quality, reusable ice pack, include the following:
- Ease of use
- Do not need an ice machine or have to deal with water sources or mechanical repairs
- Address almost all applications or body parts
- Great marketing tool—you can brand the packs with your logo
- Great retailing option—buy in bulk from your professional distributor at professional wholesale while still offering your patients a quality product with immediate access and a competitive price
The most important aspect of helping your patients recover from a mild to moderate acute injury, such as an ankle sprain, is to get them moving as soon as it’s indicated.
By turning down the dial on the pain they’re experiencing, you enable them to move gently, which helps to speed up the process by facilitating the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
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