The application of heat or thermotherapy has been found to modulate pain, increase local blood flow by means of vasodilation, and promote tissue extensibility. Heat is usually used once a condition, such as an injury or post-operative condition has passed the acute stage. The application of heat prepares the injured tissue for an optimal response for activity, or for a therapist to do manual therapy.
The application of cryotherapy or cold has been found to cause the arteries to constrict thus decreasing the blood flow to a given area. As a result, this aids in edema control, pain management, and slows down the inflammatory process. Cryotherapy is usually used in the acute or inflammatory phase of an injury. Cryotherapy may also be used to address conditions in which nerves are irritated causing muscle spasm or radiating pain from one area to another. Neurologic conditions, such as spinal cord injury or strokes, respond well to cryotherapy to decrease muscle tone. Neuralgia, often associated with diabetes, is another condition that responds well with the application of cryotherapy.
I would love to be able and meet with you so that we can address any questions that you may have about further treatment here at our clinic. Please feel free to visit our website, email us or call in to speak to me or any of our staff so that we may better serve you. Thank you for visiting Kinematics Physical Therapy and we look forward to seeing you soon.