The Power of Ice
Using ice to treat injuries is one of the oldest methods of pain control. Proven to be safe and effective at reducing swelling, relieving pain and decreasing muscle spasms, ice therapy is an easy self-care technique that anyone can administer. Every mother knows to put ice on a bruised knee after a soccer game or on a teething toddler's tender gums. But do you really know how ice works?
Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, works on the principle of heat exchange. This occurs when you place a cooler object in direct contact with an object of warmer temperature, such as ice against skin. The cooler object will absorb the heat of the warmer object. Why is this important when it comes to cold therapy?
After an injury, blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells are damaged. The cells around the injury increase their metabolism in an effort to consume more oxygen. When all of the oxygen is used up, the cells die. Also, the damaged blood vessels cannot remove waste. Blood cells and fluid seep into spaces around the muscle, resulting in swelling and bruising. When ice is applied, it lowers the temperature of the damaged tissue through heat exchange and constricts local blood vessels. This slows metabolism and the consumption of oxygen, therefore reducing the rate of cell damage and decreasing fluid build-up. Ice can also numb nerve endings. This stops the transfer of impulses to the brain that register as pain.
Most therapists and doctors advise not to use heat right after an injury, as this will have the opposite effect of ice. Heat increases blood flow and relaxes muscles. It's good for easing tight muscles, but will only increase the pain and swelling of an injury by accelerating metabolism.
When it comes to cooling devices, different effects will result due to the device's ability to exchange heat. Crushed ice packs do a better job at cooling the body than chemical or gel packs, because they last longer and are able to draw four times the amount of heat out of tissue. The important difference is that ice packs undergo phase change, allowing them to last longer at an even temperature, creating a more effective treatment. Most chemical or one-time-use packs and gel packs do not undergo phase change. They quickly loose their ability to transfer heat, limiting their effectiveness to reduce swelling. Their short duration of cold is not long enough to produce numbness, also reducing their ability to relieve pain.
Cold therapy should always be used as soon as possible after an injury occurs and continued for the following 48 hours at 15 to 20 minute intervals. Remember - if you hurt yourself, you need to ice!
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.
About The Author
Louise Roach is the editor of an on-line health and fitness newsletter. She has been instrumental in the research, testing and development of SnowPack, a patented cold therapy that exhibits the same qualities as ice. Her injury prevention and treatment articles have been published on running, walking and fitness websites.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
IAEA Partners with Brazil's SBMN to Facilitate Training for Nuclear Medicine Professionals in Latin America, the ... - International Atomic Energy Agency
Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers - Take An Informed Decision
Alcohol rehabilitation centers in the United States offer a wide range of treatment programmes for your recovery from alcoholism.They provide services such as detoxification, residential treatment, day care and outpatient alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Lunesta Side Effects
Before you decide to buy Lunesta, make sure you have read over all pertinent information about how Lunesta works, and what side effects you might experience.Let's go over Lunesta Side EffectsIf you notice any of the following side effects, stop taking Lunesta immediately and contact your local emergency room.
Pharmaceuticals: The Next Frontier in America's War on Drugs
America's war on drugs, which has been fought in the opium fields of Afghanistan and the cocaine plantations of Columbia, will have to reinvent itself to combat what is set to be America's biggest drug abuse problem, pharmaceuticals. One in five American's, nearly 48 million, have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at least once in their lives.
Pagan Medicine: Then and Now
A time will come when our children's children will look back upon the age of "modern" medicine of the 21st century as paganistic witchcraft, foisted upon ignorant masses of people. May God rightly judge those who corrupted His ministry of healing and killed His children.
Hypertension & High Blood Pressure: How To Improve Life Threatening Weight-Related Diseases
The American Heart Association estimates that one of three Americans have have hypertension. And yet many of us don't know what it is, why it's dangerous, and what the treatment options are.
Bextra and Vioxx Withdrawal Spurs Price Increase Among Rivals
The market for painkillers is huge. People don't like pain and inflammation, and last year Americans spent nearly $4 billion on just two of them - Vioxx and Bextra.
Causes and Types of Cerebral Palsy
In the case of Cerebral Palsy there is no one cause of this severe condition. There are many things that may increase the risk of this condition but will not cause cerebral palsy all the time.
Hacking through the Medical Scheduling Software Jungle: Helpful Search Tips
It is the reality of the 21st century medical practice that in order to ensure the most effective office management and to provide the best service to patients, a medical office must incorporate medical scheduling software. Medical scheduling software helps to run the modern medical practice.
Family Healthcare: The Dangers Of A Heart Attack & How To Avoid It
A heart attack happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself (the myocardium) is severely reduced or even stopped entirely.If you know the symptoms and the risk factors of a heart attack, you can avoid having one and live a safer, healthier, longer and happier lifeHeart attack has been reported to be the number one killer disease among adult Americans aged 50 yrs and older.
Heart Disease: The Dangers Of Coronary Heart Attack And How To Avoid It
What is a coronary heart attack?Are you at the risk of a coronary heart attack?Here are some insights to help you..
Whats a Good Arthritis Medicine for Me, Doctor?
Pain is the body's warning signal that something is wrong. If the pain is due to overuse or arthritis there are many things to consider.
Is Anxiety Ruling Your Life?
Anxiety is the most frequently occurring mental health disorder in the United States, according to the US Surgeon General. There are millions of people who are diagnosed with it every year.
Safely Mimicking the Effects of Accutane Without the Side-effects or Costs
Since 1982 Accutane has been a reliable, if not controversial, drug for treating severe acne. Now with FDA representative David J.
Joint Pain Relief
If you joints are constantly killing you, here are three suggestions:1. Traumeel is a product that has been used for years in Germany to relieve pain.
Sinusitis: Sinus Infection Deals a Corporate KO
Sinusitis and Sinus Infection Starts with a Little SniffleYes, I hear it too. A simple sniffle in a distant cubical.
Finally...Affordable Prescription Medication without Insurance.
If you are like many Americans, you are without health insurance. And the ranks of the uninsured are growing.
Hypnotherapy as a Treatment for IBS
Hypnotherapy is one of the best known and most widely used treatments for IBS, and can offer sufferers a drug-free solution to their symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and bloating.There are now many hundreds of hypnotherapists who offer what is called "gut-directed hypnotherapy" for IBS, which takes the general techniques of hypnotherapy and applies them directly to the abdominal pain and digestive symptoms which IBS sufferers struggle with.
Bextra Withdrawal Could Be Just the Beginning for Pfizer
The pharmaceutical industry is a tremendously profitable one, as anyone who reads the business pages of their newspaper can see. Although it can take years to develop a new drug and bring it to market, the profits obtained from a breakthrough drug can be staggering.
Meridia Lawyer: Meridia Diet Pill Side Effects
Following the recall of Fen-Phen and Redux in 1999 (two diet drugs that cause heart valve diseases) Meridia was released. Meridia is a diet drug similar to the ones that were recalled.
Orthotics and Your Feet
Orthotics are devices which fit into the shoe to aid the foot. "Functional orthotics" are rigid and designed to control motion and correct the function of the foot.
|home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas|