Ice therapy is one of the most natural and most effective ways to prevent injury or minimize soreness and inflammation after a challenging workout. Ice therapy consists of using ice and cold temperatures to reduce swelling and pain throughout the body. There are many different ways to use ice therapy making and boasts incredible health benefits whether you are using it as a preventative measure or as a post-stress treatment for your body.
How to Apply Ice Therapy
There are many different ways to use ice therapy. The easiest way is to freeze an ice pack and then apply it to the desired area. You may want to place a thin towel between your body and the ice so that the cold does not irritate your skin. You can also put ice in a bucket of water and submerge the desired area for a more intense experience. The most intense form of ice therapy is cryotherapy, which is a new treatment where you stand in a cold chamber for three minutes in sub-zero temperatures. The body can withstand these temperatures for this amount of time because cryotherapy uses dry air. Another way to partake in cold therapy is to take cold showers.
If you aren’t used to the feeling of intense cold, ice therapy can be an adjustment. Start by applying it for very short periods and then work up to longer intervals of icing. You shouldn’t ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. Once the affected area is numb, it’s time to remove the ice. After an hour or two, you can repeat the ice therapy.
Benefits of Ice Therapy
The most significant benefit of ice therapy is that it calms the blood flow to an injured or irritated area, and therefore will reduce inflammation. Ice therapy can also be very soothing by reducing feelings of pain. Ice can even prevent muscle spasms and tissue cells from dying as well. There are many instances in which you should use ice. It’s incredibly beneficial during any stage of injury treatment, but it’s also helpful after an intense workout. While you workout, your muscles can swell up and become irritated. Icing after your workouts can prevent overuse injuries by helping the body heal faster.
Who Should Use Ice Therapy?
Virtually any injury can benefit from ice therapy. The ice will calm the trauma that the body has undergone to reduce pain and swelling. However, there are some times when you will want to avoid ice therapy. For example, you should not ice your body before a workout. This can cause your muscles to tighten up, and could potentially lead to injury during the exercise session. You also should be wary of icing your back or neck unless it is a recent injury. If you are experiencing aches and pains, it may be more beneficial to use heat, which is also very helpful for treating pain.
Talk to your doctor for more guidance about ice therapy. They can tell you how to use ice to treat your specific injuries. Ice is one of the easiest ways to treat pain and inflammation without drugs, and it’s always helpful to have an ice pack in your fridge just in case.