Cryo/cold therapy (KT)

In addition to heat therapy, cryotherapy is part of thermotherapy. It involves the external application of cold to influence processes in the body. But what exactly is cryotherapy, how does it work, what is done and when is it used?

What is cold therapy?

Cold therapy is part of physical physiotherapy. It aims to relieve physical and sometimes psychological discomfort. Cold applications can be used locally on certain parts of the body or on the whole body. The choice of treatment method depends on the individual complaints. Cold therapy usually supports other forms of physiotherapy, such as physiotherapy or massage.

How does cold therapy work?

Exposure to cold causes the vessels to contract. The momentary constriction leads to reduced blood flow and slower metabolism. This helps to reduce swelling and inhibit inflammation. The cold also temporarily blocks nerves and pain receptors and can therefore be used to relieve pain. A short application of cold initially increases muscle tension, but with longer application, relaxation occurs.

What is done during cold therapy?

Cold therapy involves exposing either the whole body or a part of the body to more or less low temperatures (-120 to +12 °C) for short (10 to 15 minutes) or longer (one to two hours) periods of time, depending on the problem being treated. Common applications include:

  • Cold packs
  • cold compresses
  • ice rubbing
  • Ice immersion bath
  • cold water bath
  • evaporative cooling by liquids
  • Cold chamber

When to use cold therapy?

The application of cold has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. It is often used for the following problems:

  • acute arthrosis
  • acute periarthritis
  • acute gout
  • bursitis
  • sprains
  • bruises
  • bruises
  • edema
  • local burn
  • arthritis
  • swellings after surgery
  • after sport for regeneration
  • tendonitis

Cold should not be used in cases of circulatory disorders and cold allergies, as well as in cases of bladder and kidney pelvis inflammation.

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