Back injuries are very common for many types of people. Athletes can overstretch and pull a muscle while playing a game, and anybody can suffer from back strain just by doing everyday activities like gardening, cleaning, or lifting an object. When this painful situation does occur, you want back injury recovery to go as quickly as possible. Fortunately, cryotherapy can help.
This FAQ answers some of the most common questions about cryotherapy and how it can be used to address back injury recovery.
Is Cryotherapy Safe?
Cryotherapy is a medical treatment, and like any other type of therapy, its safety depends on how it’s applied. The ways to apply cryotherapy include ice or gel packs, immersion in an ice bath, whole-body cryotherapy chambers, and cryotherapy systems. Of these, a cryotherapy system may be safer than other applications because it allows the user to control the temperature of the therapeutic cold being delivered.
Ice packs are relatively safe because water can only get so cold, but gel packs that achieve lower temperatures can cause localized cold burns. Whole-body cryotherapy chambers get so cold that exposure for too long can cause frostbite and damage to body tissue. Ice baths are also relatively safe (although inconvenient), assuming the water isn’t too cold and you don’t stay immersed for too long.
Cryotherapy systems allow you to control both the temperature and the length of treatment time. Wraps are used to circulate cold water while allowing therapeutic cold to penetrate to the damaged tissues in your back or other injury site.
What Are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy can offer many benefits during back injury recovery, which may include:
- Reduced pain
- Reduced swelling
- Fewer muscle spasms
- Less need for pain medication
- Faster healing
- Convenient pain relief
Many people choose cryotherapy because it offers a natural way to help with pain relief without prescription medication. This not only helps you avoid uncomfortable side effects but may help you save money on treatment. Faster healing may also allow you to return to work more quickly, further reducing the impact of a back injury.
Can You Use Cryotherapy After Back Surgery?
Cryotherapy is recommended after many different types of surgical procedures, including back surgery. During surgery, your tissues suffer trauma that results in inflammation. Applying therapeutic cold immediately after surgery helps keep the swelling down, which contributes to a faster recovery. As you continue to heal, ongoing cryotherapy treatments help manage pain and promote healing.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
The effects of cryotherapy depend on how it is applied. For example, the effects of 30 minutes of treatment with an ice pack might last for a total of 40 minutes, including the time that the pack was in place. On the other hand, a cryotherapy system with a body-conforming back wrap may provide the benefits of therapeutic cold for much longer. This means that you may get more time between treatment sessions and greater benefits for longer. Anatomically designed wraps also enable cold to penetrate from multiple angles, which means it reaches more of your damaged tissues.
Are you currently going through back injury recovery and wondering what you could be doing to make it go faster? Download your free copy of Game Ready’s The Complete Guide to a Faster Spinal and Back Injury Recovery today.