What is Cold Therapy?
Why is Cold Therapy Performed?
Cold therapy is most often recommended for those living with neck pain or lower back pain. Use of the ice on the neck and shoulders can help for neck pain, whereas use on the hips can help limit back pain.
This is typically used as one part of a treatment plan – it’s important to remember that this does not treat an injury, but it is helpful to reduce swelling and reduce pressure on the nerves for pain management.
How is Cold Therapy Performed?
Cold therapy is a relatively simple and straightforward process. Ice is applied to a specific area, by a medical professional. This could include the use of:
- Electric cooling pads
- Ice packs
- Ice wraps
- Ice baths
Each of these utilizes cold or ice to help relieve swelling and pressure in targeted areas. There is minimal discomfort associated with the process, but you will naturally experience chills as the compress works with your body to reduce pain.
What Should I Expect After Cold Therapy?
When your cold therapy session is complete, you should experience no negative side effects. It’s important that this treatment follows medical advice to prevent any ice burns or improper use of the ice.
However, the benefits of cold ice packs or similar are clear – you should feel less pain and a reduction of inflammation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Therapy
1. What is hot and cold therapy?
In some cases, the use of heat may be suggested – this dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to a specific area. Depending on the health condition that you’re presenting with, both may be used in intervals.
2. Can cold therapy help with a herniated disc?
In some ways, cold therapy can help with a herniated disc. It can reduce the pain caused by the nerve compression but it will not treat the underlying cause of the herniated disc or the disc hernia itself.