Cold therapy, or the use of a cold material to ease pain and swelling, is a tried-and-tested, centuries-old practice, which is being extensively used as a treatment procedure to this day.
Many people wonder when to use cold therapy packs, and when to use heat therapy instead. A brief guideline is this: cold therapy assists in the relief of such ailments as migraines, headaches, strains, arthritis and sinusitis, or any pain that involves swelling. Heat therapy, on the other hand, is ideal for spasms and stiffness, and pain that involves tight muscles and joints (the heat from the heat therapy pack would serve to loosen them).
Cold therapy packs could take the form of a cold compress, which you could easily make at home: wrap a pack of frozen peas with a towel of medium thickness, and then apply this over the affected body part. Yet another material you could effectively use (in place of frozen peas) is ice (also called ice therapy pack). When applying the cold therapy pack to the affected body part, it is highly important that you lift the pack from the body part after at most 15 minutes; this is to avoid burning your skin.
Body parts that are usually treated with cold therapy packs and pads include the face and sinuses (dental pain, eye aches and migraines); shoulders (bone dislocation or stiffness); arms and wrists (tendonitis); hip and thigh area (muscle pulls and arthritis); knee (sprains and soreness); ankle; and the heel and feet.
Apart from the previously described method of creating homemade cold therapy packs, you could take advantage of gel packs and cold wraps that are made for specific body parts. Some features of these products include their ergonomic shape and structure (as they easily conform to the part of the body that it was really designed for), their reusability and ease of use. For example, dental wraps (to ease teeth pain) can be wrapped with Velcro strips around the head, so you wouldn’t have to hold it up to the affected area with your hand. Ice therapy packs to ease back pain could also be wrapped around your back, so you could still walk and move around even while receiving relief for your pain.
For your children, there are available ice packs that are decorated with pictures of popular cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty, Scooby Doo, Transformers, and Thomas and Friends; these designs would certainly appeal to kids of all ages.
Some of the companies that sell cold therapy packs include Iceman (available on different websites such as jointhealing.com). Some other websites that you could order from include painreliever.com, kneeshop.com and makemeheal.com.
Apart from the more conventional cold therapy packs are cold lasers. Cold laser treatment, also known as laser acupuncture is used by many chiropractors and medical doctors and is regarded to be a revolutionary method in pain treatment. Some of the cold laser applications include shingles and arthritis, along with allergy, wound healing and acne.
So if you’re feeling pain in different areas of your body, consider undergoing cold therapy in conjunction with pain medication.