Many doctors and athletic trainers recommend ice therapy for an injury, surgery recovery, or after a tough workout because it is an effective way to reduce pain and swelling. Therapeutic cold works in a number of ways:
- It deadens nerve endings to reduce the sensation of pain
- Slows down cellular metabolism to prevent secondary tissue damage
- Reduces swelling and helps prevent muscle spasms
All of these effects combine to help reduce the time it takes to heal, which means you can get back to normal life faster.
Why to Use a Cold Therapy Machine
Although ice packs have a positive effect on the healing process, they are not necessarily the best solution when cryotherapy is prescribed. A cold therapy machine provides:
- Better results than ice alone - Cold therapy machines are proven to be more effective because the therapeutic cold penetrates deeper and lasts longer than when it is delivered with ice packs. The majority of people who use ice therapy machines also report a faster return to work, a reduction in the amount of pain medication they needed, and a better post-operative recovery experience.
- Active compression - The combination of active compression with the delivery of therapeutic cold is one of the reasons cold therapy machines are more effective than ice packs. The pumping effect that is created is similar to the body's natural muscle contractions, helping improve the removal of edema and lymphatic drainage near the injury. Active compression also increases blood flow to injured tissues, which helps accelerate healing.
- Better coverage - Cold therapy machines use wraps that get more coverage than ice packs. For example, a knee wrap delivers cold to every surface of the leg above and below the knee joint, including the back of the leg. This means that cold is allowed to penetrate deeper and more uniformly to reach the damaged tissues more effectively.
- Safer application - You cannot control the temperature of ice packs like you can with a cold therapy machine. Although cold is therapeutic, temperatures that are too low can cause damage to skin. A cold therapy machine maintains a constant therapeutic temperature so you get the benefits without the risk of additional injury.
Cold therapy machines can be used for a broad range of applications including athletic injuries, surgery recovery, acute injuries, and even traumatic amputation recovery. Adjustable wraps can be used for almost any injured area including, knees, shoulders, wrists, groins, ankles, and backs.
If you're ready to get started with Game Ready, find a provider near you to schedule a consultation.
How would you use a cold therapy machine?