Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is a medical treatment that involves subjecting the body (or certain parts of it) to cold temperatures. It has been an accepted treatment for injuries and post-exercise recovery for ages. In recent years, research has shown that cold therapy is safe and effective even for chronic pains (in cases like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia) and overall well-being.

Cold therapy is now known to provide systemic anti-inflammatory relief, increase positive immune response, and aid in parasympathetic nervous system stimulation. It is also applied to provide non-pharmaceutical support for patients with depression and mood disorders, reduction of daily stress and general well-being.

How does cold therapy work?

The mechanism of cold therapy involves the constriction of blood vessels and a decrease in blood flow to the affected area. This helps to reduce inflammation and pain by slowing down the metabolism of the cells in the said area. Cold therapy can also potentially alleviate muscle spasms and stiffness by slowing down nerve conduction. The ankle gel ice pack at the Nature Creation store, for instance, effectively uses cold therapy to treat feet soreness and injuries.

Foot and Ankle Gel Pack - Reusable Gel Ice Pack with Elastic Fastener - Cold Packs for Post-Surgery or Sport Injuries, Flexible Ice Packs - Foot Wrap and Ankle Ice Pack Wrap Compression

How to do cold therapy at home?

Cold therapy is a fairly simple practice, and can be done in a number of different ways. The following are some easy cold therapy methods that you can try at home-

  • Ice bath/ Cold Shower: Soaking in a tub filled with cold water and ice is a cold therapy method that’s popular with athletes, who are known to submerge in an ice bath after a tough workout. A short shower in running cold water is also a good means to include cold therapy into your daily routine.
  • Ice Packs/ Cold Gel Packs: This cold therapy is primarily used to treat localized pain and inflammation after an injury or to deal with muscle soreness. They can be applied directly on areas affected with sprains, strains, and bruises, as well as for reducing pain and inflammation in conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis. For example, the foot and ankle gel ice pack at the Nature Creation store provides effective relief from tender foot muscles.
  • Cold Sprays and Roll-Ons: The active ingredients in such products like menthol and methyl salicylate, are known as counterirritants. They help to alleviate pain by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm.

How can you benefit from cold therapy?

Regardless of the method of cold therapy that you avail, you are bound to benefit in one or more of the following ways-

  • Decreases Inflammation: Inflammation occurs at specific sites within the body, for example an injury, or can be systemic. Cold therapy reduces localized inflammation by causing the blood vessels around the affected area to constrict, reducing blood flow and consequently, the swelling and inflammation.
  • Pain Management: Cold therapy reduces pain by desensitizing nerves in and around the injured area. The foot and ankle gel ice pack from the Nature Creation store provides effective pain relief through cold therapy.
  • Muscle spasm reduction: Cold therapy slows down nerve conduction and reduces muscle spasms and stiffness, while also improving flexibility and range of motion in the affected area.
  • Improves Mood: Cold helps in stimulating dopamine production in the brain, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure.
  • Reduces symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: Cold therapy is a non-pharmaceutical supporting therapy. Research indicates that people with depressive symptoms typically have inflammatory markers that can be significantly alleviated with cold therapy.
  • Skincare: Cold therapy is also used in the cosmetic industry, as it is believed to reduce puffiness, redness, and inflammation in the skin, and also tighten open pores.

Who should not use cold therapy?

Cold therapy is not always the best idea for everyone. The following individuals should exercise extra caution before availing cold therapy-

  • People with poor circulation: Cold therapy can cause constriction of blood vessels, which can be counterproductive for people living with circulation issues. It can cause a significant drop in blood flow to the affected area and increase the risk of frostbite or other cold-related injuries.
  • People with nerve damage: Prolonged cold therapy can cause numbness, tingling sensations, or even stinging pains in people with nerve damage.
  • People with Raynaud’s disease (Cold Feet Syndrome): Such people already experience temporary narrowing of the blood vessels in the fingers and toes. Cold therapy will be additionally harmful and painful for them.
  • People with cold Urticaria: In this condition, a person develops hives or welts when exposed to cold temperatures, so avoiding cold therapy is a must for such individuals.
  • Pregnant women: Pregnant women should avoid cold therapy as it can cause constriction of blood vessels and hamper blood circulation in the body, which can be harmful for the baby.
  • People with sensory disorders: People with poor sensation, such as diabetics, should avoid cold therapy as it increases the risk of frostbite or other cold-related injuries, since they cannot fully feel the intensity of the cold.

Cold Therapy with Nature Creation

Nature Creation deals in 100% natural therapy packs that combine the triple benefits of heat therapy, cold therapy as well as aromatherapy. Foot and ankle gel ice pack, knee gel ice pack, head gel ice pack, we have it all and much more. Find premium-quality products for cold therapy only on the Nature Creation store.

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