Cryotherapy has often been used to recover from injuries, and help with muscles soreness and swelling right after athletic activity. The idea of using ice to soothe pain has been around for quite a long time, leading to many advances in cryotherapy technology. So when should you use icing, and what does it do for you?
Bleakley and his team in their article in Sports Med from 2012 decided to evaluate the effect of utilizing cryotherapy and then returning to athletic activity. In their studies they discovered that cooling and then heading straight back into it caused a decrease in speed, power, and agility based performance. Essentially, it made the athlete weaker! However, the study also found that these adverse effects were negated by having a short rewarming period. The idea here, is that cryotherapy is not meant to be used directly before engaging in heavy physical activity, without being given a chance to warm back up. So if you just came off the court to ice your knee really quick, make sure to warm it back up before heading back into the game!
So if we are not supposed to use ice before activity, when is cryotherapy a good idea? The general consensus is to use cryotherapy after a workout, when you are not expecting to go back and hit the weights again for a little while. With this route, you should have time to warm back up before engaging in physical activity again. This means that icing is much more effective as a recovery tool as opposed to a sort of preparation tool.
In that case, what does Icing actually do for you? Icing is known for combating inflammation and swelling, as well as soothing pain from sore muscles. There is a large debate at the current moment that pits natural healing against ice. The body naturally uses inflammation for healing purposes, so why should we try to stop inflammation? The answer here is, that while inflammation is the bodies natural response, our bodies often over do it, and cause way too much inflammation. Too much inflammation can cause damage to the body, which over time can cause quite a few different painful problems as noted by webmd.com (https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/about-inflammation#1). As such, preventing the body from overdosing in inflammation does help with the recovery process.
As such, our on the go cryo-compression products are a great tool to help you recover after your workout. Providing cryotherapy to cool and stop some inflammation, and compression to help with the swelling, cryo-compression can be quite the recovery tool! Head on over to our products page to learn more about our fantastic cryo-compression devices, and see how we can help you!