A Guide to Help You Help Your Clients
Seasonal Injuries - Hot and Cold Therapy
Summer is a wonderful time of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Battle Creek's Ice-It! line of products is a popular system as its patented pack remains cold for the maximum allowable time without the mess of melting ice while it's holstering system holds the packs in place for maximum benefit while remaining flexible.
Battle Creek's Thermophore moist heat pad is a professional quality product designed to provide moist heat without adding water. It is a tool used by many physical medicine healthcare professionals.