Cryotherapy is treatment using cold to reduce inflammation.

This may be in the form of ice, ice-like products or cold fluid.

Cryotherapy helps to relieve pain and also to minimise swelling. Icing can be performed with simple home systems or more sophisticated commercial systems.

Commercial cryotherapy systems include -

  • Cryo/Cuff by Aircast
  • Ice-Up portable ice massager by Pro-Tec
  • Biofreeze
  • Cryotherapy cups by Isokinetics Inc
  • Breg Polar Care 500
  • Breg Polar Cub
  • Innovation TheraCool cold therapy system
  • DonJoy Iceman
  • DonJoy Arctic Flow

It is not a problem if you do not have a commercial system. Moisten a towel and wrap it around some ice from the refrigerator. Remember that ice from the freezer is FAR colder than from the refrigerator so if you use freezer ice you need to crush it and use a good thick towel. Better is a bag of frozen peas. Ice the limb for about 15 minutes only. Repeat as needed but don't leave the ice on so long that the skin burns!

 

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Aircast Cryo/Cuff

The Cryo/Cuff has a wrap-around part like a blood-pressure cuff and a container holding iced water. When the container is lifted up water circulates via a tube through the cuff and keeps the knee at a constant temperature.

As the cuff fills with water it provides controlled compression around the knee joint and this has been shown to be highly beneficial, especially in the treatment of acute soft tissue injuries.

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