Cold Packs for Every Body Part and Joint
The application of cryotherapy via ice packs over the affected or targeted body area is most often used to treat large or small areas where muscle pain, muscle guarding, acute inflammation or edema is causing pain and/or stiffness. Ice packs are generally made of plastic and filled with a hydrated gel that is pliable and come in a variety of different shapes and sizes to allow them to form-fit to body parts, around joints, over large or small areas. The packs are kept in a refrigerated unit at -21°C to -12°C (0°F to 10°F).
Therapeutic Benefits of Decreasing Skin and Muscle Temperature
Because of the direct and non-moving contact with the skin, a cloth barrier (often dipped in cold water and ringed until damp) is placed between the skin and cold pack to protect against skin damage. Like the application of ice massage, the localized cold decreases the skin temperature (not as much as direct ice massage) slowing inflammation and providing pain relief. If the time of application is extended, intramuscular temperature will also decrease, slowing the transmission of pain signals. Superficial or skin rewarming occurs gradually and primarily takes place within the first 10 minutes following application. However, intramuscular temperatures remain depressed for approximately an hour following cessation of application.
The Mechanism of Action
The benefits or characteristics make cold pack make it an affective and desirable intervention for application as soon as possible after injury occurs, usually within 24 to 48 hours. The decrease in temperature of the tissues being treated causes vasoconstriction, reducing the local circulation and the amount of fluid that is delivered to and therefore could diffuse into the surrounding area leading to edema and inflammation. Further, once the cold is removed and the tissues begin to rewarm, the vessels will dilate from their constricted status, and a resulting enhancement to blood flow to the area will occur delivering oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the injured muscles, tendons, fascia, and ligaments.
Cold Pack Application as an Adjunct to Stretching
Research has shown that applying cold (cold massage or cold pack) to the muscles that have been stretched immediately after stretching, will help maintain the elongated length of the stretched muscle for a longer period. The consistent application of cold following stretching routines of muscles will help achieve a desired muscle length and range of motion sooner, as compared to not applying the cold following a stretching routine.
ProHealthcareProducts.com offers a wide variety of cold pack products including vinyl, urethane, and plastic packs, covers, chilling units, instant ice packs, ice bags, and even fun shaped cold packs for kids.