We’ve all heard of the intense methods that athletes use to recover quickly from physical injury. Before you find yourself too reluctant over the idea of freezing in a tub full of ice water, consider this discussion on how cold therapy impacts the speed of injury recovery.
What is Cold Therapy?
Cold therapy is becoming more popular and is widely known today as Cryotherapy. This muscle recovery technique incorporates exposing the body to icy cold temperatures for a short period of several minutes. The science behind the technique is that by reducing blood flow to an injured area for a short time, inflation will ease and relieve muscles, tendons, and joints from pain. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to benefit significantly from cold therapy; every day, people rely on it for pain management and injury relief.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System Response
Cold therapy has been proven to reduce pain associated with mental and emotional distress as well as physical pain. Engaging the parasympathetic nervous system essentially switches the body out of fight-or-flight mode, enhancing one’s sense of relief and relaxation. In this way, cold therapy sends a shock to the system, causing one to essentially snap out of the physical or emotional distress they are experiencing immediately. These phenomenal benefits of cold therapy have been integrated into therapeutic methods associated with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as a way to reduce heightened emotional distress during a crisis. Patients are encouraged to dunk their heads in tubs of ice water and to take cold showers when they feel emotionally dysregulated. This turns on the relaxation signal to the body and forces the individual to focus only on the cold water as opposed to the distress going on in the mind.
Best Cold Therapy Machines Online
Some cryotherapy approaches use localized options that expose only the targeted areas to cold temperatures. Ice packs and sprays are used instead of submerging the body into a bath. Research shows that ankle sprains and other injuries that impact the muscles, joints, and tendons recover faster using cold therapy than without, by three days. The cold water signals the body to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which floods the person with immediate relief from pain and inflammation for a temporary amount of time. By incorporating cold therapy, you are reducing pain intermittently as well. Other localized methods of cold therapy include the use of a cold therapy machine. You can buy cold therapy machines online for at-home usage. We recommend those by Source Cold Therapy and consider them to offer the best cold therapy machines online for their quality.
Given the physical and emotional benefits cold therapy offers, we encourage you to take the plunge and embrace the coldness. You don’t need to endure a full-body soak to see the benefits of cold therapy, (but you could!) and using localized cooling methods and machines are excellent alternatives to these radical and advanced approaches.