If your injury has just happened, for example, you sprained your ankle, tore a muscle or have a bruise, cold therapy is best suited to manage your pain. These type of injuries are referred to as acute injuries.
An Acute injury is described as a sudden injury that is usually associated with a traumatic event, for example, clashing into another player whilst playing sports or a fall from a bike or when you receive a direct blow from a blunt object striking a part of your body. The body undergoes changes during this period and often it is a negative one.
A traumatic impact can cause your bone to crack, muscles to tear or ligaments to snap. You will experience a sudden sharp pain that is often severe, immediate swelling and even cold purple regions in your body that indicate a lack of proper blood circulation in that injured part.
Cold therapy works by reducing blood flow to a particular area, which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain, especially around a joint or a tendon. It can temporarily reduce nerve activity (numb the nerve endings), which can also relieve pain.
BENEFITS OF COLD THERAPY
1. Slows blood flow
Applying Ice to a certain part of your body say your knee for example will slow blood flow to the muscle and surrounding tissue. This reduces inflammation fast and effectively. Combine icing with elevation to reduce inflammation quickly. Lower blood flow should also decrease swelling, which is a cause of pain around an injury.
2. No more spasms
Cold therapy can work to stop muscle spams and also the associated pain.
3. Relieves pain
The ice will numb the area – alongside the reduced blood flow this works effectively to reduce your sore areas,
4. Prevents inflammation
Alongside reducing inflammation, if you can get ice on an injury fast enough it can actually prevent inflammation entirely.
5. Stop bleeding
With reduced blood flow, it would make sense that if there’s any bleeding from the tissues it would be slowed down. Just because it’s bleeding doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ice it, in fact it would be even more beneficial in that case!
6. Aid in muscle recovery
The numbing and reduced blood flow can flush the blood out of your muscles and allow them to relax after intense exercise or athletics. Use ice therapy to recover your muscles faster than ever and be ready for the next session.
Wrap-On Ice not only provides cold therapy, but it also has a compression strap. Compression in combination with the cold therapy is the ultimate treatment for acute injuries, pain relief and recovery for your muscles and joints.
Rest and protect the injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.
Cold will reduce pain and swelling.
Wrapping the injured or sore area with the Wrap-On Ice Compression strap will help decrease swelling. Don’t wrap it too tightly, because this can cause more swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the wrap is too tight include numbness and tingling.
Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimise swelling.
How to use Wrap-On Ice for Cold Therapy
1. Freeze the gel pack.
2. Insert Gel pack into Wrap-On Ice Sleeve.
3. Contour the pack to the injury site and secure with the compression strap.
4. Leave the gel pack on for 10-20 minutes.
5. With 20 minute rests between application for a 2 hour period. This process can be repeated over a 24 – 48 period.
6. Consult your doctor if pain persists.
Safety tips to remember when using Ice Therapy
• Never put ice in direct contact with the skin, make sure the gel pack is inserted into the Wrap-On Ice sleeve.
• Ice time is also somewhat dependant on your body weight so be logical about it.
• Periodically check if the skin is becoming too red/pink – if it is, remove the ice pack.
• If you leave the ice pack on for too long, it can damage skin and nerves, so make sure you follow the instructions.
Please Note: ice can burn or cause frostbite if the skin is not protected with a cover
When not to use Cold Therapy
• People with sensory disorders that prevent them from feeling certain sensations should not use cold therapy at home because they may not be able to feel if damage is being done. This includes diabetes, which can result in nerve damage and lessened sensitivity.
• You should not use cold therapy on stiff muscles or joints.
• Cold therapy should not be used if you have poor circulation.
• If you have cardiovascular or heart disease, consult your doctor before using cold therapy.
• If cold therapy hasn’t helped an injury or swelling within 48 hours, consult your doctor.
• Do not use ice packs on the left shoulder if you have a heart condition.
• Do not use ice packs around the front or side of the neck.