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Cold Therapy for Post-Operative Rehabilitation & Pain Management


If you have an upcoming surgery scheduled, most likely you are concerned with post op pain, inflammation and recovery time. Cold therapy is a highly effective pain management and recovery accelerator for post-operative care. Cold therapy is particularly effective on post-operative knee joint rehabilitation. Best of all, it is a low-cost, high-efficiency, non-pharmaceutical rehabilitation tactic, making it an appropriate addition to just about every post-operative patientís rehabilitation strategy.

Still unsure about cold therapy? The following are the top three reasons people are choosing cold therapy systems for post-operative care:

  1. Recovery time is much faster. One of the main benefits of cold therapy systems is faster recovery. The therapy helps to not only reduce swelling and inflammation it also helps with the pain. The cold ends up where it needs to be, penetrating deep into your joints and muscles.
  2. Itís easy to use. Cold therapy is simple to use. Each system is portable and the battery life is long lasting. The motor is quiet, so you donít need to worry about loud or obnoxious noises. And they are also comfortable to wear.
  3. Itís been tested and proven for years. Cold therapy is not new. In fact, doctors and rehab centers have used them for years. Through their usage, they have been refined to ensure patients receive the best possible solution for their post op needs.

How does cold therapy work?

Cold therapy is effective in post-operative rehabilitation for a variety of reasons including:

  • Cold Therapy decreases fluid buildup which is a significant contributor to post-operative swelling in the injured body part.
  • Cold therapy causes blood vessels to constrict, slowing blood flow to the injured part as well as the release of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation.
  • Cold therapy decreases pain by reducing the ability of the nerve endings to conduct impulses.
  • Cold therapy limits the muscleís ability to maintain contraction, thus reducing muscle spasm, which can be quite painful during post-operative recovery.

Both the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health recognize that cold therapy is particularly effective at alleviating pain. A German study applied continuous cold therapy with a cold therapy system in the post-operative treatment for knee ligament surgery. 80% of the knee joint patients reported no or low pain, whereas the control group noted considerable or violent pain. Likewise the study found that cold therapy lead to significantly lower swelling, which aided in quicker recovery.

For these reasons, cold therapy is frequently prescribed throughout the duration of post-operative rehabilitation. In many cases, cold therapy should be applied alongside compression as it can also aid in reducing swelling. In these instances it is important to select a cold therapy system that also provides a degree of compression. With the right cold therapy unit, cold can penetrate deep into the joint to provide lasting pain relief throughout recovery.

Why is motorized cold therapy better than traditional cold packs?

Cold packs are adequate for slight injuries, such as mild sprains, but they are not appropriate for more significant injuries and post-operative care. An ice pack administers inconsistent temperature over a small space and will lose the intense cold temperature rapidly as it warms against the skin, requiring multiple trips to the freezer.

A quality cold therapy system on the other hand, will deliver a motorized flow of consistent temperature through circulation pads that are specifically designed for different body parts and applications. This ensures that temperatures stay within the effective range, that the cold is applied to the correct area with the correct pressure so that it can penetrate deep into the joint, and the cold therapy session can occur for a longer period of time in accordance with the physicianís prescribed treatment protocol. Depending on the type of unit you select, you should be able to administer anywhere between 6 and 11 hours of consistent cold therapy per ice change.

To learn more about cold therapy and the most effective cold therapy systems currently available, please visit MMAR Medical online.



About MMAR Medical: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of high quality medical products including a wide selection of diabetic shoes, cold therapy systems and medical orthopedic braces, including ortheoarthritis knee braces. To find quality medical shoulder, knee, back braces and more, please visit MMAR Medical online.