Moist Heat & Cryotherapy Naperville, IL

Moist Heat and Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the application of cold treatment to alleviate acute and sub-acute pain, as well as improve conditions resulting from the injury. Ice packs, ice massage, and full body “cryotherapy chambers” are all commonly used in this type of therapy. The physiological effects of cryotherapy induce certain sensations that allow for the decrease of inflammation, decrease of pain, reduced muscle spasms, reduced tissue damage, and the reduction of Edema. There are four stages to Activa’s Cryotherapy. First, the patient experiences an uncomfortable sensation of cold in the targeted contact area. This sensation is followed by a stinging or prickling, then a burning or aching feeling, and finally the targeted area becomes numb. Typically it takes about 15 minutes for the undergoing process and completion of all four stages. Cold can be extremely effective in any common inflammatory conditions as well as an alleviate in cases of bursitis, tenosynovitis, and tendonitis.

How Can Cryotherapy Help?

Cryotherapy works by decreasing blood flow in an affected area to reduce the risk of edema. This process also halts inflammation and potential bruising. The cycle of applying cold to the targeted area, then removing it, then applying it again causes blood to be brought in and out of the targeted area, working almost like a pump. Increased blood flow promotes healing by bringing oxygen and removing debris and toxins in the tissues.

There are several different ways to go about cryotherapy. The simplest, and most common uses a cloth or plastic sheathed ice pack to apply the cold directly on the target area with a thin cloth in between to protect the skin. Another method is called the ice massage. Ice massages are undertaken by the physical therapist taking a solid piece of wrapped ice and rubbing the target area in circular motions.

What is Moist Heat Therapy?

Moist heat therapy is a form of thermotherapy. It is essentially the same concept as cryotherapy, but using heat instead of cold. Thermotherapy is mainly used for pain relief and to stimulate circulation, but this application of heat also relaxes muscles and prevents muscle spasms. Moist heat means that the application of heat involves moisturized sources in order to keep the body from dehydrating and the targeted area from drying out, and provides a sense of muscle calming and relaxation.

How Can Moist Heat Therapy Help?

Moist heat packs are kept at specific temperatures for the sensation of “warmth” and not a burning heat. The packs are stored in a hot water hydrocollator tank until ready for application. Special towels or wraps cover the packs when being used, preventing the skin around the targeted area from getting too hot and keeping the packs from cooling off as quickly. Hot baths or vapor baths are also considered moist heat, and they are just as common as the moist heat pack.

For injuries, illnesses, or symptoms represented by chronic pain, inflammation, tightened muscles, and muscle spasms, or if these are results of other issues, Activa Physical Therapy could very well give you the relief you need when dealing with these ailments or others.

For more information about Cryotherapy, Contact us at Naperville or Burr Ridge, IL centers.