Patients these days have access to infinite information on the internet. With some key search terms and just a few clicks, they can find out what their symptoms mean and how best to treat them. Of course, consultation with a professional is always the best course, but many patients with common injuries get frustrated when they are told to apply ice and compression while they rest and elevate the injured area. While this is sound advice, there is a better way to treat pain and inflammation.
If you’re a medical professional who likes to stay on the leading edge of technology in order to optimize patient treatment, consider using a cryotherapy machine in your practice.
What is a Cryotherapy Machine?
A cryotherapy machine combines therapeutic cold and active compression in a single, easy-to-use device. The two primary components are the control system and the body-conforming wraps. The control system allows you to adjust the time, temperature, and pressure settings so you can customize every treatment. The control system also houses an ice reservoir that cold water flows through to maintain a consistent temperature.
This cooled water circulates through the circumferential wrap to deliver therapeutic cold to the entire area surrounding the injury, which is significantly more coverage than an ice pack can provide. In addition to circulating water, the wraps also have an integrated chamber that delivers intermittent pneumatic compression. In contrast to static compression bandages, a cryotherapy machine mimics natural “squeeze and release” muscle contractions to help pump edema away and stimulate the flow of oxygenated blood to the injury site.
The Benefits of a Cryotherapy Machine
For an injury or post-surgical recovery for which you would normally prescribe RICE treatment, a cryotherapy machine can be recommended. Because the system is portable, it can either be used in your practice or rented for home use while your patients recover. Cryotherapy machines are proven to help deliver more consistent therapeutic cold that penetrates deeper into the body and lasts longer than traditional ice packs. This can mean a faster recovery, better pain relief, and a more convenient treatment system for your patients.
Patients also get the satisfaction of knowing that you have something more to offer than the RICE treatment they can do themselves at home, which helps increase doctor visits when injuries do occur. Because the system is so convenient to use, patient compliance is high, which contributes to a faster recovery.
Treating the Most Common Injuries with a Cryotherapy Machine
Some of the most common injuries among both athletes and non-athletes include:
- Knee injuries
- Back pain
- Shin splints
- Shoulder injuries
A cryotherapy machine can help patients recover from all of these types of injuries more effectively than ice alone for a few key reasons:
Because therapeutic cold is able to penetrate deeper and last longer, many patients find that they can reduce or eliminate pain medication during recovery. This helps prevent unwanted side effects and also enables patients to better determine where they are in the recovery process.
Active compression helps pump away excess fluid and prevent additional swelling from occurring. This helps patients retain better range of motion throughout recovery and also enhances the healing process with better flow of oxygenated blood and nutrients to the injury site.
Body-conforming wraps are available for major body parts, from head to toe. The circumferential wraps deliver therapeutic cold from every angle surrounding an injury, contributing to a faster recovery.
Better patient compliance
Because patients can feel the positive effects that a cryotherapy machine provides, they are more likely to use it. They can also receive hands-free treatment and don’t have to worry about paying attention to the time since the machine does all the work for them.
If you frequently treat patients for one or more of these common injuries and you’re looking for a treatment method that can help them recover faster, download our free Comparison Guide of Cold and Compression Systems today. You can also offer this guide in your own practice to patients who have questions about cryotherapy and its many benefits.