If you live in Minnesota, odds are you’re no stranger to being a little cold from time to time, especially in the winter. Being cold causes some natural reactions from the body, and since we know how our bodies tend to react to cold or warm sensations, we can actually use these bodily reactions to our advantage. We can use cold or hot therapy to get our bodies to act in a specific way, which is especially helpful after an injury or workout. We’ll focus on heat therapy in a future post, but in today’s blog, we want to showcase how cold therapy can be a great therapy technique after an injury or workout.
Cold Therapy Benefits
At OrthoRehab Specialists, we recommend cold therapy to a number of our clients who could benefit from blood vessel restriction in a specific area. Applying cold packs or using a professional cooling technique promotes vasoconstriction of blood flow to an affected area, which can be beneficial after an injury or intense physical therapy session. At our clinic, we offer a unique cooling technique using the GameReady machine in these situations. The device allows for concentrated, effective and safe body part cooling, which helps to:
- Reduce blood flow
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce localized swelling
- Decrease likelihood of muscle spasms
- Decrease metabolic demand
All of these factors can help to promote optimal healing and function in an area. For example, if you are rehabbing a knee injury, cold therapy after a physical therapy session can help to limit fluid buildup in the area you’ve been working hard to strengthen, which will help inhibit swelling or inflammation that could delay healing. We also use cold therapy on athletes after an intense practice or game. Pitchers can help their arms heal faster after throwing a lot of pitches by cooling the area with our GameReady system, or a running back can help control inflammation after tweaking their ankle at practice. Concentrated and safe cooling can make all the difference in helping you get back to practice or to performing certain daily activities sooner after an injury or stressful workout.
So if you are dealing with joint swelling or inflammation, or reducing blood flow to an area could help your body heal faster, talk with one of our physical therapists to see if our GameReady system could be an option for you. In the meantime, you can work to control swelling and inflammation with ice packs or an ice bath, just remember to do so safely. For more information about speeding up tissue recovery or our GameReady cooling system, reach out to the experienced physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists today.