Cooling therapy (known as cryotherapy) in used within sports injury treatment to reduce tissue temperature, blood flow, pain, and metabolism in the affected area. It is a well-researched treatment particularly for soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains.
When an injury occurs, there is inflammation and pain. Oedema (swelling) occurs due to an increase in local blood flow to the injured site. The application of Physicool’s cooling bandage causes a reduction in tissue temperature around the injured site resulting in constriction of the local blood vessels; therefore reducing blood flow and swelling, treating the injured area. Also by minimising the amount of swelling early on, this can help to reduce pain as the nerve endings at the injury site will not be as compressed and painful. Therefore, the sooner the athlete receives sport injury treatment using Physicool; the greater the potential benefit and the speedier the rehabilitation.
Cooling treatment is used to reduce the recovery time as part of a sport rehabilitation programme both after acute injuries and in the treatment of chronic injuries. Cryotherapy decreases the inflammatory reaction and associated pain. This helps speed the recovery process (Swensen 1996).
Although cooling therapy is effective with few complications or side-effects, prolonged application of ice based remedies (ice, icepacks, icewraps) should be avoided as this may cause serious side-effects, such as frost-bite and nerve injuries (Swensen, 1996). There is evidence that even applying ice wrapped in a towel can lead to frostbite (Graham, 2000). Physicool provides a much safer alternative to cooling with ice-based products.