Cryotherapy (also known as “cold therapy”) is the use of freezing or near-freezing temperatures to treat acute and subacute injuries and conditions. There are two main types of cryotherapy: whole body and localized. Diamondback Physical Therapy uses localized cryotherapy because it does a better job of targeting specific painful areas.
Localized cryotherapy involves the use of a small handheld device to apply the nitrogen gas to a specific target area such as the neck, elbow, knee, ankle, etc. Cryotherapists and physical therapists may also use such tools as ice packs and ice massage alone or in combination with heat (heat pack) treatment, electrical currents and other treatments to reduce pain and inflammation, improve soft tissue healing, increase endurance and improve range of motion (ROM).
Common conditions treated include:
- Muscle and Joint Disorders
- Myofascial Trigger Points
- Acute Localized Edema (swelling)
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Isolated Nerve Inflammation/Irritation
- Osteoarthritis (OA), Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Benign nerve growths (neuromas)
- Pinched nerves (nerve entrapments)
- Recovery from Athletic Conditioning/ Mechanical Skeletal Muscle Stress
How does cryotherapy relieve pain?
According to Spine Universe, pain relief results from decreased nerve conduction velocities along pain fibers. This is because the irritated nerve is deadened from the cold temperature. The cold temperature also causes the muscle spindle activity responsible for mediating local muscle tone to slow down, which also aids in pain relief.
What are some of the benefits of cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy has several health benefits including:
Cryotherapy May Be Right For You!
Cryotherapy is a safe and effective treatment method that has been around for decades. It has proven benefits for anyone from a trained athlete seeking speedier recovery from athletic conditioning to someone who has chronic pain due to nerve damage, musculoskeletal disorders or autoimmune diseases. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.
- Physical Therapy: TENS, Ultrasound, Heat and Cryotherapy, Gerard Malanga, MD, SpineUniverse