How and when to use ice is important to understand.
In a nutshell, it is a relatively safe and effective way to reduce pain and tenderness in the muscles and joints after an injury or exercise.
The most common form of ice therapy is the ice pack. Commonly called a cold pack, the ice pack can be placed on a sore or injured area for approximately 20 minutes per hour.
The cold will reduce inflammation and pain and also depress firing of pain nerves in the involved areas.
In the past, a cold pack really was an ice-pack because it consisted of a bag with ice in it placed on the sore area.
Today, ice packs are quite advanced and referred to more as ‘cold packs’ since they no longer have water in them.
Many cold packs, including those we sell at Express, can be placed directly on the skin. They do not require a shirt or towel to act as a buffer for protecting the skin.
When you think of an ice bath you think of elite athletes sitting down in a cold bath of ice water to help reduce soreness in their beat up bodies. While they are no doubt used to this, it’s still not fun.
While most of us don’t need to sit in an ice bath, putting a sprained ankle or wrist into a bucket containing ice water is a highly effective way to reduce swelling and pain.
Theories behind ice baths say that exposure to cold helps to battle small tears in muscle and ligament fibers.
Cryotherapy is another form of icing that has evolved over the past few years, and has become very popular. Cryotherapy is used to decrease inflammation, soreness and spasm in the muscles.
However, cryotherapy goes beyond just the health benefits of the musculoskeletal system by having an impact on the body at the cellular level by stimulating a natural healing response.
Ice or cold therapy, whether in the form of an ice pack or the more modern cryotherapy is a great option for reducing inflammation and muscle soreness in addition to other health benefits.