What should you do when you suffer a musculoskeletal injury such as a sprained wrist or a strained back? Most people are advised to rest, apply ice and compression, and temporarily, elevate the injury site if possible (not so easy with a back strain). This technique, known as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), is widely used in sports medicine today.
Cryotherapy – also called cold therapy – has been used for many years to treat the aftereffects of a soft tissue musculoskeletal injury. If you’ve ever twisted your ankle or had to do post-op rehabilitation for a knee ligament repair, you may have been advised to follow the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) regimen. Traditional ice application methods typically include use of an ice bucket (doesn’t work on many joint injuries, such as the back or hip), wrapping the injury with a plastic bag filled with crushed ice, or using an ace wrap over the ice-filled bag to try and provide some compression along with the cryotherapy. These methods are inconvenient, messy, irritating and hard to stick with over time. And when you don’t stay with a regimen of cryotherapy and compression, you recover more slowly from your sports injury.
If you’re one of the two million people in the U.S. living with the loss of a limb, you know how important physical rehabilitation is for those seeking to recover after an amputation. Therapy helps amputees learn how to adjust and recover as much of their functional life as possible. The good news is that surgical techniques, rehabilitation methods and prosthetic designs have improved greatly, and so most amputees are able to function at high levels.
Why are you sitting on the couch? Maybe you sprained your ankle when you took a tumble down the ski slope. Maybe you overstretched your knee ligament during a rowdy basketball game with buddies. Or, possibly you’re recovering from surgery to repair a torn shoulder rotator cuff caused by your physically-demanding job. Whatever the cause of your injury, it’s important to use all the tools available today to help with the healing process.