Cold therapy is also helpful for chronic injuries when used after activities. Typically, for chronic injuries, you use heat therapy before activities and cold therapy after.
Cold Therapy is often not as well tolerated as heat is. However once accustomed to it many people find significant relief from the pain spasm cycle.
Effects of cold Therapy
Cold Therapy applied locally reduces the temperature of the skin, muscle, and/or joint it is applied to.
Cold therapy causes vasoconstriction decreasing the blood flow, it also increases blood viscosity reducing swelling and inflammation.
Cold therapy numbs the signals to the brain that causes pain.
Cold therapy reduces the muscles ability to spasm.
When not to use Cold Therapy,
Cold therapy should not be used on any area that has decreased sensation.
It should not be used on anyone with a circulatory insufficiency.