Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is a method that involves applying cold on an injured area to help reduce the pain, decrease the swelling, and promote healing by numbing the affected area.
It is a common practice among athletes that suffer a sport injury and more doctors are recommending it to their patients. Cold water is known to push the body’s natural healing powers to start working and relieving the pain symptoms.
For hundreds of years, athletes have relied on taking ice baths to improve circulation and heal their muscles. Luckily, products such as DonJoy Iceman were made to help heal injuries since not everyone can tolerate sitting an ice bath until they recover.
Benefits of using cold therapy
Icing is known to produce a similar effect to using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is often practiced after exercising or after an activity that caused pain in your muscles.
Cold therapy can be applied to injuries in your knee, foot, back, hip, shoulders, elbow, or wrist. It provides many incredible benefits such as:
Improves your immune and lymphatic systems
The lymphatic system is responsible for cleansing your body by taking away bacteria and microbes from the cells. Cold water helps to make your lymph vessels to contract and pump fluids to remove the toxins from the targeted area.
The cold water also encourages your white blood cells in your immune system to work harder when attacking unwanted substance in the fluid.
Reduces inflammation in muscles
When you exercise intensely for a long period of time you will wake up the next day feeling extremely sore to the point that you can’t move freely. Pushing your muscles to go beyond what it is used to will result in a tear in your fibers.
Cold water is scientifically proven to reduce swelling and inflammation by lowering the damaged tissue’s temperature.
Improves circulation in the body
Improving your body’s circulation can be done by exercising and dieting, but cold therapy will increase the blood flow to vital organs. Cold therapy will force your heart to pump blood through all your vessels to provide oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body.
Reduces muscle spasm
Muscle spasms are often a result that happens when a muscle is injured and this response is known as muscle guarding. It is your body’s own way of protecting the injured muscle and preventing it from further damage.
Cold therapy can decrease the pain, which will help to relax the contracted muscle.
Boosts your metabolism
Studies have discovered that cold therapy can boost your metabolism rate by 16% if used regularly. When your body is put through cold therapy, it starts to produce heat to maintain the internal temperature and that will result in weight loss.
Using cold therapy is extremely beneficial for the body, as it can act as a pain reliever, reduces inflammation, swelling, and muscle spasm, and improves your metabolism. A cold plunge for home is a must so that in any situation you can have an ice bath at home.