Ice or Heat?
Cryotherapy consists of applying cold compresses to the skin, both to reduce its temperature and constrict blood vessels in the area. Applied to fresh injuries, it can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
You are likely already familiar with the use of ice to bring down swelling after spraining an ankle or knocking your shin. But did you know cryotherapy can be beneficial well after you suffer your initial injury? This is particularly the case with back pain. Though Dr. Foster may prescribe alternating heat and Ice, Most back pains are treated with Ice only.
Treatment and Benefits Cryotherapy helps pump edema out of the painful area and sedates the tissues. Just as Aleve and Ibuprofen are used to lower inflammation, ice can decrease inflammation while providing cooling relief to the affected area. Commonly used in sports medicine, its power to ease pain and decrease inflammation can be helpful in acute and chronic situations.