Monday, March 14, 2016

Cryotherapy – Application of cold modality for musculoskeletal injuries

Icer therapy or cryotherapy helps decrease inflammatory processes after an injury. Therapeutic application of substances that removes heat from the body and leads to a reduction in tissue temperature is termed as cryotherapy. Cryotherapy causes constriction of the small blood vessels, decreases tissue blood flow, reduces metabolic tissue rate, oxygen consumption, and inflammation and muscle spasm. Conventional methods of cold application include an ice pack, vapor-coolant spray, ice massage, and cold whirlpool. Use of an ice pack or cool pack is best in acute injury, chronic pain, muscle spasm, delayed onset muscle soreness, and inflammation.

The cold-induced local anesthetic effects are obtained via neurologic and vascular mechanisms at the spinal cord level. The temperature of the skin and underlying soft tissues decreases with topical cold application. This temperature reduction leads to a decrease in the nociceptor activation threshold and the nerve conduction velocity of the pain signals. The tissue blood flow and cell metabolic rate can be slow down with continuous cryotherapy. Reduced cell metabolism, in turn, prevents secondary hypoxic injury to the surrounding tissues by restricting the rate of oxygen utilization.

Take extra care when applying cryotherapy to patients with advanced diabetes as diabetic neuropathy may result in serious complications. Peroneal, ulnar, axillary, and lateral femoral cutaneous nerve injury after cryotherapy with compression is well documented. These superficial nerves are more likely to be damaged with prolonged cold compression. Other adverse treatment effects include frostbite, Raynaud’s phenomenon, cardiovascular effects, and slowed wound healing.

Contact Chiropractic Specialty Center® for all your spine and joint conditions or injuries. We have Malaysia's top chiropractors and physiotherapists to get you feeling better fast. Call us today at 03-2093 1000 to schedule your appoint.





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