Cold therapy is a therapy in which ice or cold things are applied at injured area it is also Cryotherapy.
Introduction To Cold Therapy
Application of cold to the tissues after injury is a practice as old as medicine itself.
Ice therapy may be used to:
3)Reduce Muscle Spasm
When ice is utilized to the skin, heat is operated from the skin to the ice and melt it. To change its case, the ice requires huge energy. When trying to cool tissues it is important to use ice during treatment and not just cold water.
Physiological effects and uses Of Cold Therapy
The first counter of the skin to cooling is an attempt to preserve heat, and this is accomplished by an initial local vasoconstriction.
After a brief period it follows a vasodilatation
and then replacement of constriction and
dilatation. This is called “Lewis Hunting reaction”.
The initial phase of vasoconstriction helps to reduce the flow of blood into the tissues following latest injury. This asist to limit swelling and extent of tissue damage.
The equivalent phases of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation helps removing the waste products of metabolism like lactic acid and thus delays fatigue.
as the tissue cooled down they decreases the metabolic activity and hence the energy and oxygen requirements of cells get reduce.
Therapeutic Effects Of Cold Therapy
following are the theraputic effects:
- Pain relief:
Cold is one of the greatly adequate physiotherapeutic
modality in relieving pain.
- Muscle spasm:
Cold therapy is usefull in releasing muscle spasm.
It acomplish initial intention of inflammation
by contracting vascular or cellular part of
inflammation as a result of vasoconstriction.
Techniques used in Cryotherapy
The different techniques which are used for administering cold are:
3.Immersion in cold or cold whirlpool.
4.Ice packs or cold packs.
In Ice massage the ice is kept in a polythene bag and
applied over the body tissue.
in this we can use crushed ice ice cube etc.
Ice sack is put on the patient’s tissue .
The movement of the bag should be backward and forward and
The duration of ice sack on the body should be 10-20 mins.
the ice solution is made in this technique by
stuffing a pot or bowl with 2 parts of flaked or
crushed ice to 1 part water in which two abide
towels are immersed.
Surplus water is twisted out of the towel remaining as much
ice clinging to it that possible , it is then utilized to the
part being treated.
The towel should be changed after every 30 sec to 2 mins.
likely 10 towels can be excercized consecutively with
total treatment time of 15-20 minutes.
this techniques can also be used for
areas of the distal extremities by soaking
the area in ice water.
as the cold is utilized straight to the skin very
much the same as in an ice massage application, the
duration of this will not be longer than 5 mins.
excessive ice soaking treatments can cause tissue
damage to distal borders where circulation is
low and should hence be used with caution.
The cold sacks consist of special material which maintain
the cold like, silicate gel.
These are accessible in different sizes and shapes.
The cold sacks are stocked in a special refrigeration or
freezer for minimum twenty mins to one hour before use.
The major advantage of these cold sacks is that they
are recyclable and can curve or mold themselves
according to the body part treated.
Vapocoolant sprays, such as fluori-methane
have been worn as a medium of achieving a
superficial cold application.
Fluori-methane and further Vapocoolant are
materials that are stored in a pressurized bottle and
than showered against the skin surface that is being
When exposed to air, these liquids evaporate very
swiftly, creating the basal tissue to be chilled.
Cryotherapy contraindications are :
4)Regenerating peripheral nerves.
Dangers and precautions
Severe local cooling can result in hypothermia.
be a life-threatening situation.
The patient’s having sacred of the cold may react
adversely. They start producing histamine like
materials creating urticaria with skin rash and itching.
Precautions should be taken while:
Treating the patient with hypertension.
practicing into area where nerves are superficial
such as axilla, medial epicondyle and head of fibula.
dealing a patient with cardiovascular disease.