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Cold Pack Therapy

Cold pack therapy is used by physical therapists to treat areas of pain and inflammation. It is useful in treating bumps, bruises, muscle aches, strains and sprains. It can be used to treat tension headaches and toothaches, minor burns, scrapes, cuts, and insect bites too. The reason for this is that it helps to produce vasoconstriction and slows down circulation reducing inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain. Some range of cold packs can even help to reduce the pain and swelling associated with episiotomy and/or vaginal delivering.

The duration of this approach is usually fifteen minutes shorter than heat as the effect of icing can last longer. The pack is wrapped in wet towel and applied directly to the area that needs treatment. When the low temperature is transferred to the skin, muscle and tissue, it has several useful effects. The lowered temperature causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the injured area and thus it decreases the inflammation in the area. The pain and swelling are decreased as a result of the decrease in inflammation. Therefore, it is vital in first aid treatment for acute injuries.

When it is applied to the injured area, the lowering of localized temperature decreases the flow of the fluid into the tissues, this in turns slow down the release of the chemicals that cause pain and inflammation in our bodies. Icing can also decrease the sensation in an area by reducing the ability of the nerve endings to conduct impulses. The pain is also reduced when the injury is being “countered”. Icing helps to reduce swelling and internal bleeding at the injured area by decreasing the activity of the cells. Cooling the deep tissue reduces muscles spasm as it reduces the muscle’s ability to maintain a contraction.

When applying, simply apply them on to the affected area at least 3 times a day, whenever there is pain, swelling, and inflammation. For the first 72 hours, you can apply it for ten minutes every once an hour. After that, it’s recommended to apply it for fifteen to twenty minutes, 3 times a day, in the morning, in the late afternoon and about one-half hour before bedtime. It’s also advisable to apply it after a long duration of activity or vigorous exercise. Application should not be applied longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. They are convenient and provide safer healing compared to ice. They save you the trouble of the drippy mess caused by ice cubes. Some instant ones can be activated with just a squeeze and a shake and they are ready to provide quick effective treatment. They are easy to apply on too. Patients can just apply onto themselves whenever and wherever they need it. It provides fast pain relief at home and also especially for first aid treatments. It is convenient as it can be stored easily in the home freezer and they can be used over and over again. In conclusion, cold pack therapy is very useful in treating a wide range of pains and injuries, ranging from athletes injuries to pains caused by vaginal delivering.
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