515 N Neel St, Bldg C Suite 105

Kennewick, WA 99336 USA

509-783-4994

Cold Therapy

image of an ice pack.

Applying ice after an injury is a common method for reducing pain and swelling. It is especially effective for athletes, who often experience sudden, painful injuries. This type of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is used by chiropractors for the same purposes.

Types of Cold Therapy

Many types of cold therapy are available to reduce pain and swelling after an injury, including the use of:

  • Ice packs
  • Ice massage
  • Slush bucket (half water, half crushed ice)
  • Whirlpool with ice water
  • Cold wet towels

Benefits of Cold Therapy

Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to narrow, which reduces the flow of blood into an area. As a result, cold therapy:

  • Reduces swelling and pain after injury
  • Slows movement of fluid into tissues
  • Reduces the amount of chemicals that cause inflammation in injured tissue
  • Reduces bleeding
  • Slows the movement of pain signals from nerves
  • Decreases muscle spasms by reducing the contraction of muscles

Cold therapy may also keep cells in the injured area from dying due to the lack of oxygen. This is because an injury can reduce blood flow — and oxygen — to the area. However, cold therapy slows the activity of cells, which reduces how much oxygen they need to stay alive.

Tips for Best Cold Therapy

For cold therapy to work, cold packs should be applied as soon as possible. Pain and inflammation are common within 72 hours after an injury.

To avoid frostbite, cold packs should be applied for only 10 minutes at a time, with breaks of at least an hour in between. The ice can be applied several times a day, for three or four days after an injury — or as directed by your chiropractor.

Also, cold packs should never be applied directly to the skin. Instead, a towel should be placed between the skin and cold pack.

Cold therapy may not be appropriate for everyone. Some people respond to cold temperatures by breaking out in hives or developing pain in the joints.

If you have questions about cold therapy or think you might benefit from this type of treatment, please contact our office to schedule an appointment and receive more information.

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I was very impressed with the chiropractic care I received from Dr. Anderson. I had received chiropractic in the past for my neck pain, but not to this level of care. After only a few sessions, my symptoms began to disappear, especially my neck pain, and I know I would not have been able to perform to my everyday work functions without the treatment I received."
    Neck Pain
  • "I have benefitted tremendously from the chiropractic care I received from Dr. Anderson. Not only has the adjustments helped alleviate my stiffness and aches, but it has helped me have more energy and just feel more balanced over all. A few months ago, I was able to resume a favorite hobby of mine: golf. Due to my previous pain, I never thought that’d be possible."
    Back Pain
  • "Dr. Anderson has allowed me to be headache free for quite some time now. I used to have daily nagging headaches that often would turn into a migraine leaving me unable to function. For the longest time, I thought I could just keep taking medication to have the pain subside."
    Headaches
  • "As a court reporter, using my hands to type on a daily basis is a requirement. The work is speedy and can often last for hours at a time. Several months ago, every movement I made became excruciatingly painful. I started seeing Dr. Anderson and he put together a program for me that helped right away. He stressed the importance of my posture and proper hand and arm placement."
    Carpal Tunnel
  • "It's been 7 months since I got wiped out by a monster wave. I sought treatment at the hospital and they took x-rays and said everything seemed normal, that I would just have some pain for a few days. A few days actually turned into several weeks, so at the suggestion of my girlfriend, I went to see Dr. Anderson."
    Sports Injury

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