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We’ve been using frozen peas and ice packs for years to help with pain or swelling. Technology has made things easier these days, and we now have cold therapy machines instead of traditional ice packs. If you suffer from arthritis pain, runner’s knee, tendonitis, sprain, lower back pain, or inflammation, you can benefit from using a cold therapy machine. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of using cold therapy machines.
These devices typically circulate ice water through a compression sleeve or pad to provide limited cold therapy treatment to specific parts of your body (usually your ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, or wrists). This reduces swelling and helps you recover faster. Cold temperatures can help relieve pain by numbing the nerves in the area. Once inflammation is reduced, you will feel better overall, which is why many athletes use it after an injury. It also increases healing time so you can get back on track faster than not using it at all. Cold temperatures also constrict blood vessels, which means less bleeding and bruising during recovery and less post-workout muscle soreness.
Unlike ice packs, which melt quickly and lose temperature or cause more damage in direct contact with the skin, ice therapists typically circulate cold water to ensure an even and constant temperature, while maintaining low temperatures for extended periods of time.
There are many proven health benefits of using a cold therapy machine. They include:
- Reduce swelling
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve sleep quality
- Improve the immune system
- Speed up metabolism
- Pain relief
- Relieves sore muscles
- Improve concentration
Cold therapy is also used in clinics and hospitals because they are excellent at reducing swelling and pain. People recovering from physical trauma or surgery as well as athletes who exercise regularly can benefit from these cold therapy machines.
So why use an ice machine instead of filling it with an ice bath? First, the ice machine offers control with special pads. Some options are battery-powered or motorized for ease of use, and they provide consistent treatment over a long period of time. Their convenience makes them ideal for clinic and hospital treatments.
Because they are easy to transport, patients can use them at home or in the office, which will speed up their recovery. Other benefits include stimulating the movement of lymph fluid and stimulating blood flow, which provides oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue.
If you’ve never purchased one before and need some advice when choosing a machine, here’s some useful information you need to pay attention to:
- Timer Settings
Some machines have a timer where you can set the time in 10 or 30-minute increments, and others let you use it for hours of constant use. Depending on your condition or your doctor’s prescription, you will need to use cold therapy for a specified period of time, therefore it is an essential feature to look at before you make a purchase.
- Tube Size
Look for treatment machines with extra-long tubes so you can move around without having to haul the machine anywhere. Other than that, the tube should be removable so that you can easily remove it when you go somewhere.
- Customizable Pads
Some pads are made to be utilized only on certain areas and cannot work on other parts of the body. There are also some pads that you can use on different areas of the body. Therefore, make sure you check the machine properly before buying.
- Non-Motorized and Motorized
Motorized cold therapy, as the name suggests, has a motor to provide a more consistent and stronger flow of ice therapy over the injured area. The downside of Motorized machines is that they are loud, although some have a whisper-quiet feature. On the other hand, non-motorized machines are generally light and quiet. They’re perfect if you’re looking for one that you can take travel with. Also, non-motorized machines have no plugs, so you can use them anywhere. However, you don’t get the fancy LED screens, settings, or timers available in some motorized models.
- Size and Weight
Cold therapy systems often vary in style, size, and features. Most of them weigh between 2 and 8 pounds. Motorized machines are heavier, but only if you move around during use – if the cord is long enough, then you can keep it in one place while you move.