The application of cold is proper when there is a sharp pain or if you need to lower the swelling after a blow or fall. Ice is a natural anesthetic and a therapeutic element to treat sprains, contractures, and inflammatory processes and is inexpensive and available to everyone. This method is technically known as cryotherapy. Although it is generally quite useful to treat these conditions, you must be careful if you suffer from rheumatic or heart disease, as this technique may be contraindicated. At FastlyHealwe will show you the uses of ice to reduce inflammation.
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Effects of ice
The therapeutic effects of ice are multiple, and we will explain them to you below:
- Narrows blood vessels: Ice works as a stimulus to reduce blood flow to the area or to increase blood pressure.
- Reduces pain: thanks to its analgesic effect, ice relieves acute pain.
- Prevents tissue hypoxia: this means that the effect of ice will prevent muscle tissue from dying due to a decrease in oxygen in it.
- It has an anti-inflammatory effect due to vasoconstriction. Inflammation is how the body reacts to what has caused the damage; it is a defense mechanism.
- Low temperatures produce relaxation in the affected muscles, reducing spasms and improving joint mobility.
- Ice works as a toner, so it is used in beauty therapies to combat wrinkles and reduce flaccidity and cellulite.
- Reduces the appearance of blisters in case of burns.
When to apply ice
The situations in which the use of ice is recommended are:
- For acute pain or bruising and relief, it will prevent edema or swelling caused by excess fluid in the tissue.
- Contusions that do not have an open wound.
- Sprains, back, and joint injuries or blows.
- Bursitis, cramps, and muscle breakage.
- Slight burns must be applied when they occur; in this way, the temperature of the affected area will be reduced. Using cold long after the burn (about 36 hours) increases the wound’s risk of not healing quickly.
- When inflammation occurs due to infection, as in the case of sore throats.
- To treat headaches and tired feet.
How to apply ice to reduce inflammation
- You must apply it wrapped in a cloth, never directly on the skin because you increase the risk of burns.
- Ice therapy should last between 10 and 20 minutes every two hours; exceeding this time increases the risk of an effect contrary to what is expected.
- Another option for using ice to reduce inflammation is cold gel compresses. You can also use a bag of frozen peas, as it also adapts to the affected area.
- The thermal sensation should not cause pain or burning. It should just feel cold.
- Remember that depending on the condition, your doctor or physiotherapist will recommend the application of cold, heat, or even both, which is known as contrast therapy.
Contraindications to the use of ice
- If you have blood pressure problems.
- If you have any heart disease.
- If you suffer from a rheumatic disease.
- Cold allergy
- Raynaud’s disease.
Home remedies to reduce inflammation
In addition to ice, other natural remedies can help reduce inflammation of the affected areas:
- Ginger: in addition to helping reduce inflammation, it relieves pain and allows blood to circulate better, preventing bruising. Prepare a ginger infusion by cooking a piece of root in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Clay and turmeric: this home remedy to reduce inflammation is beneficial, especially for people with rheumatic problems. Mix a tablespoon of clay with a bit of water; remember to use glass instruments to prevent the clay from losing its properties. Adding one teaspoon of turmeric is also effective in treating arthritis problems. Place the mixture on a cloth and put the part that has the clay on the affected area, wait 15 minutes and rinse. If you want to know more about the uses of clay, we recommend the Medicinal article on the benefits of clay.
- Pineapple: This fruit has enzymes that give it anti-inflammatory properties. Eat fresh pineapple and combine this treatment with the application of cold where the injury has occurred.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.