Did you ever bump your head a little bit and your mother said "Put this ice pack on, put this ice pack on!"
That's not very far from one of the things a chiropractor does in her/his office. Cold therapy is a non-surgical modality used to relieve pain. It is also good to decrease swelling.
It is a great therapy to be employed for patients involved in car accidents. This modality is usually employed immediately after the auto accident but it can also be part of a longer term treatment.
Cold therapy is done using ice packs or cold packs. It is often done in conjunction with other therapies such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound.
As a patient involved in a car accident you may ask yourself "How does this cold therapy actually work?" That would a be a good question.
The way it works basically the ice causes the blood vessels to tighten or to compress. This causes the blood flow in the affected area to get reduced. That creates a numbness effect and reduces pain. When the ice pack is taken off the blood comes back and it promotes healing in the area.
A few things you should be aware of as a patient involved in a car accident:
- cold therapy sessions are usually around 15 min.- cold therapy sessions can be prescribed at home as well (ask your chiropractor)
- when putting the ice packs on avoid direct contact between ice and your skin (use a cloth to wrap the ice pack)
- when putting the ice packs on, avoid direct contact between ice and your skin
- people should not use cold packs on stiff muscles or joints (only on acute swollen areas)
- people with sensory disorders such as diabetes should be careful in using cold therapy as the cold ice kept for too long can damage nerves
- people with very poor blood circulation should avoid cold therapy
If you have any questions give Dr. Exposito a call 786-372-3950.