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What is cold therapy?

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is usually used in the acute stage of a soft tissue injury. It involves the use of ice or a cryocuff to cool down a damaged area of soft tissue following an injury. It is very effective when used in conjunction with the R.I.C.E. principle which stands for Rest, Injury, Compression, Elevation. Cold therapy has a number of benefits in the early stages of treatment for a soft tissue injury.

Stretches and mobilisations of the foot and ankle by a specilaist physiotherapistAbove: Stretches and mobilisations of the foot and ankle by a specilaist physiotherapist

How does cold therapy help?

The main benefit of cold therapy is that it lowers the metabolic rate at the sight of the injury. This helps the tissue to survive during the period following injury. Cold therapy has several other benefits including:

Who benefits from cold therapy?

Cold therapy benefits acute stage soft tissue injuries such as:
  • Impact injury causing swelling or bruising
  • Ligament injury
  • Muscle injury
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