People have been applying ice to injuries for thousands of years. At their offices in Downtown Washington DC, the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation team uses ice and modern forms of cryotherapy to reduce pain and inflammation. To find out how cryotherapy can relieve your pain and help you recover from a musculoskeletal injury, call today or book an appointment online. 

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy uses coldness to treat injuries. It relieves musculoskeletal pain because it has an anesthetic effect, numbing the nerves at the site of an injury. Cryotherapy also reduces swelling and inflammation.

Cooling causes your blood vessels to constrict as well. After a short time, your body responds to the cold by widening the blood vessels again, meaning more blood reaches the injured tissues. Blood delivers oxygen, growth factors, and healing cells that promote tissue repair.

The effect of cryotherapy varies depending on how long the treatment lasts, the temperature used, and how much fat there is under your skin. The type of cryotherapy you have is also an important factor.

What types of cryotherapy are available?

The simplest form of cryotherapy is using ice packs. The most common ice packs contain cubed, crushed, or wetted ice. Wetted ice is a mixture of ice and water. It’s the best type of ice to use to lower the temperature of the treatment site and keep it cold.

Ice sprays are also available and are often more convenient. Other cryotherapy methods include a cold bath or whirlpool hydrotherapy tub, and ice massage, where your therapist makes slow, circular stroking motions for 5-10 minutes.

Whole-body cryotherapy is also becoming increasingly popular, especially for helping athletes recover between training sessions. Some people with chronic pain conditions also benefit from whole-body cryotherapy, which involves spending short periods in a cryotherapy chamber.

Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation offers state-of-the-art Game Ready® technology that combines cryotherapy with periods of tissue compression. This advanced system produces excellent results for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and those who’ve had surgery.

What conditions can cryotherapy treat?

Cryotherapy can treat a wide range of conditions. The Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation team uses cryotherapy to target these and other issues:

Cryotherapy can also reduce pain and help promote healing after orthopedic surgeries.

If you’re interested in benefiting from cryotherapy, call Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.