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Cryotherapy is a great way to help with injury recovery. However, most people are not going to have access to a cryotherapy chamber immediately following an injury. Instead, to provide some of the benefits of localized cryotherapy, people have been applying ice cryotherapy for years.
In fact, icing is an important part of rehab and injury treatment. The standard for many injuries is RICE.
This means that applying ice several times a day is part of rehab for many common muscle injuries.
Why Icing Works
Ice works because of the role that heat plays in injury and inflammation. When you work out, you warm up your muscles. The muscles are not just getting warm, the warmth is the results of increased blood flow to the area. Unfortunately, increased blood flow can also contribute to inflammation when there is an injury or overuse.
Icing reduces tissue temperature. That can reduce blood flow, which can help reduce inflammation. It can also ease pain by numbing local tissues. Removing pain is its own benefit but reducing inflammation can be an important component in your recovery.
Why Icing Is Difficult
While icing is effective for immediately treating injuries and for long-term rehab, it can be difficult. Icing can be messy, since ice melts. It can be too cold for your skin, making it difficult to apply for extended periods of time. Finally, melting ice can make it impossible to ice for long enough periods of time.
Phase Change Material
That is why we recommend that everyone have a cold pack with phase change material for their at-home icing situations. Phase change material is composed of fatty materials that freeze for longer periods of time than pure liquids, including water. They are contained in ice packs, which can be placed in the freezer for when they are needed. They are moldable and can be placed over injuries. They offer greater, longer cooling for immediate injury treatment and as part of RICE treatment for injuries.
Contact Us Today
At Cryolete, we recommend using phase change material in your at-home treatments. Of course, for the best results we suggest professional cryotherapy, either localized or whole body. Contact us for more information.