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Why Cryotherpay is Effective in Sports Injury and Recovery

Cold compress should be applied to any injury for the first 24 to 48 hours. You can apply heat over muscles 48 hours after the injury as long as there is no swelling or warmth. This article will explain the importance of cold therapy in sports performance and recovery.

Cold, when applied to injuries, causes the constriction of capillaries that is why swelling and inflammation is reduced. With a new injury cold should be applied for fifteen to twenty minutes. Do not apply ice directly to the skin to prevent frostbite, so put a cloth or towel in between the ice and the skin. For maximum cold transmission, put a wet towel between the ice and the skin. Initially you should apply the ice once very hour. If the injury is beginning to heal, apply cold only when there is pain or you can also try heat.

Cold can be more effective than heat with chronic pain like with trigger points over the thorax. To recover from muscle soreness after an intense sports game, players use cold therapy. Many teams also routinely jump into an ice bath covering themselves from the chest down in ice water. They stay in the ice bath for a maximum of ten minutes.

One minute in an ice bath and the next minute in a warm shower is what some groups do, which is called contrast bath. There is no evidence for the benefits of contrast baths but people agree that both ice bath and contrast bath make athletes feel better afterwards. Improvements in physiological markers of recovery have been studied but are inconclusive. During soccer matches in warm temperatures the body temperature can rise considerable. When the body temperatures arise, ice vests are used to cool the body core; these vests are packed with ice. Ice filled neck collars are also used. During half time some wore these vest and collars and other didn’t and those that wore them showed improvement in aerobic performance than those who didn’t.

Immersion in a chamber cooled to negative 120 degree Celsius or 184 degrees Fahrenheit is another form of cryotherapy but it is an extreme one. The face, hands, feet, and ears of the person are covered so that frostbite is prevented but the subject wear a bathing suit. In 3 minutes the subject is immersed in the cold chamber. How can one survive the cold chamber? One the person enters the chamber, his skin is rapidly cooled but the core temperature remains the same. In order to avoid damage, cryotherapy chambers must be used with great care. The result of immersion in the cold chamber help to balance antioxidants in the blood, prevents inflammation and has analgesic effects.