Summer is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the outdoors. After a long winter, Canadians are anxious to enjoy the warm weather. However, in our pursuit to enjoy the outdoors, there is a great potential for injury.
Many people suffer from seasonal injuries with prolonged periods of pain. It is always best to seek the advice of a medical professional to address acute and chronic pain.
Cold Therapy with ice is the best immediate treatment for acute injuries because it reduces swelling and pain. It is most effective during the first 48 hours on the injured site.
Ice is a vaso-constrictor that slows the blood flow to the injury site. To ice an injury, wrap ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for a maximum of 20 minutes. There is a risk of tissue damage going beyond the 20 minute marker.
Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time. You can ice an acute injury several times a day for up to three days.
As cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, it is a useful treatment for chronic pain or injuries caused by overuse in athletes. An athlete who has chronic knee pain that increases after running may want to ice the injured area after each run to reduce or prevent inflammation.
Heat Therapy is used to treat chronic injuries or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Heat therapy helps those people suffering from sore, stiff, nagging muscle or joint pain. To increase the elasticity of joint connective tissues and to stimulate blood flow, heat therapy should be applied. Tight muscles or muscle spasms are eased by the application of heat but one should not apply heat after exercise.
Safely apply heat to an injury 15 to 20 minutes at a time and use enough layers between your skin and the heating source to prevent burns.
Because some injuries can be serious, you should see your doctor if your injury does not improve (or gets worse) within 48 hours.
Seasonal Injuries – Exercise Therapy
After seeking the advice of your healthcare professional, and appropriate cold and hot therapy has been implemented, a course of rehabilitative exercises may be prescribed as part of the healing process.
As common seasonal injuries may flare up due to activity, such ailments as lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis and golfer’s elbow respectively) are frequently seen.
After a workout, ice is the better choice on a chronic injury. As heat increases circulation and raises skin temperature, you should not apply heat to acute injuries or areas of inflammation. For the treatment of golfer’s and tennis elbow, patients using Theraband’s Flex bar use a repeated twisting motion to strengthen the injury site. The repeated motion rather than resistance strength is the key factor for recovery. Yellow or red is recommended.
Theraband also offers an array of products designed to help patients rehabilitate themselves through a series of progressive exercises. Theraband manufactures progressive resistance equipment and has created an educational academy to help those people seeking the appropriate exercise regimen found at www.therabandacademy.com . This free site offers a great support system for the therapist and their patients. Under the direction of a therapist, the exercises should be repeated starting at the lowest, safe resistance that has been prescribed. After being able to accomplish 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, move to the next resistance level.
For additional information on products that can help you and your clients address this topic, visit our categories on Pain Management.
Some HOT and COLD Therapy Suggestions from Know Your Body Best
Rapid Relief® Cold/Hot Gel provides comforting cold or hot therapy in an effective reusable system. This reusable Hot or Cold Compress is microwave safe, non-toxic and has no added dyes! This pack will never lose its flexibility so time after time you can get Rapid Relief.
Battle Creek’s Thermophore Moist Heat Pad products are designed to deliver the kind of intense heat that can penetrate deeply to really bring you relief from pain, muscle cramps, and stiffness for hours.These heating pads stimulate your circulation to help remove toxins and increase the supply of rich, oxygenated nutrients that are available to damaged tissues. It is a professional quality product designed to provide moist heat without adding water. It is a tool used by many physical medicine healthcare professionals.
Biofreeze an evolution in therapy pain relief and comfort. Using the natural herb ILEX in the base allows biofreeze to be quickly absorbed for fast, deep penetrating relief. Biofreeze blends well for ultrasound and massage to instantly deliver cool effective relief to every sore muscle and stiff joint to advance the healing process.
Cryoderm contains all natural ingredients including menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint oil, msm and herbal extracts of arnica, boswella and ilex. in addition, cryoderm contains sd alcohol 39-c, a natural denatured alcohol. isopropyl alcohol, an inexpensive lab created chemical, which is toxic if ingested is never used in Cryoderm.
Cryoderm Heat can be used in place of massage creams and oils for myofascial release, trigger point therapy, transverse friction and deep tissue. For external use only.
100% colourless, dye free, Paraben free, and gluten free provide fast acting, deep penetrating pain relieving warmth for muscle sprains and strains, sore stiff muscles, bursitis and tendonitis, arthritis and joint pain. The secret of this pain reliever is its deep penetrating, long lasting gentle warmth, and other natural ingredients such as Aloe barbadensis, Arnica, Boswella, Green tea extract.
Biotone Polor Lotion – Advanced action with Menthol – Fast – penetrating, it immediately quiets aching, inflamed or sore areas to bring overall comfort. Ideal for sports training, physical therapy or combined with a stretching program. Non-lingering aroma.
Theraband resistance system is a patented progressive system staring at tan, yellow, red, green, blue, black, silver and gold. They offer a full selection of products from, inflatable balls, bands and exercising tubing. These devices are supported through a well-documented set of respective exercises to help rehab injuries and help patients achieve a higher level of fitness. The Theraband Academy at www.therabandacademy.com is an excellent resourse.