October 26th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Cold Therapy

Staff Report


Health N' Sports: Cold Therapy
photo from www.runnersworld.co.za

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic talks about Cold Therapy

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

When and why should I ice?

Cold therapy is the most commonly used treatment for soft tissue injuries to reduce pain and swelling.  The method of action involves lowering the temperature of the injured tissue.   This can reduce the tissue's metabolic rate and helps the tissue to survive the period following the injury. Thus the excess proliferation of inflammatory substances that can cause pain and swelling is decreased, and rehabilitation becomes more comfortable and ideally quicker.

Ice or another type of cold therapy is recommended following common sports injuries including acute ankle and knee sprains, shoulder dislocations, and any bruises or contusions.  Cold therapy is also used immediately after surgeries, as most doctors recommend a steady treatment of ice in the hospital and for at least a few days following discharge.  In addition to these acute situations, many clinicians recommend ice for overuse injuries such as tendinitis, bursitis and muscle strains.  Icing immediately following exercise or an athletic competition can minimize development of overuse injuries and muscle soreness.

Cold therapy can come in several forms.  A simple bag of ice or even a bag of frozen peas can be effective, as can the commonly used re-freezable gel packs found in drugstores.  For excessive swelling and inflammation, as in many post-operative situations, continuous cold therapy devices are being used more frequently.  These devices can maintain a colder temperature while providing some compression at the same time.  Caution must be taken to avoid keeping these devices on too long; one should discuss the ideal length of time with a caregiver.  It is also important to keep a layer between the skin and the icing device to avoid any skin damage.  These precautions should be used with all forms of cold therapy, as an over-iced tissue can actually become damaged and defeat the purpose of icing.

We, LOC’s Sports Rehab Center, are now offering the DonJoy IceMan Cold Therapy Unit for purchase. If you are very active &/or are involved in sports & require ice often, this may be a good option for you. For more information and pricing, we have created a brochure which can be accessed through the link provided. DonJoy IceMan

-Erin Fidler, P.T.-

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790

Website: louortho.com

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