Cold Compresses

Written by Sierra Rein
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Cold compresses are very useful when it comes to combating both normal and unusual body aches and pains. When applied to a muscle or ligament, the cold constricts the blood vessels in the area, causing them to shrink. This shrinking prevents the type of swelling that can lead to slower healing rates and scar tissue.

The process of applying cold to an inflamed area has been practiced since the days of ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. The ancient Greeks utilized packed snow from the mountains wrapped in cloth to scale down the amount of discomfort and puffiness in an injured site. They also ran cold water along pained areas of the body in attempts to deal with common problems like arthritis.

A compress is a piece of cloth or material that is applied, with pressure, to a part of the body. Most are used to relieve inflammation by preventing blood from collecting into the injured area. Others are designed as a healing agent to keep a source of either cold or heat against the skin.

Home and Professional Cold Compresses

Of course, the most recognizable kind of cold compress is the do-it-yourself combination of an ice pack and an Ace bandage. These are great in a tight situation, but can become leaky and unstable after a few hours. If this proves to be a problem time and time again, a better source of both cold and compression may be in store.

Besides ice, there are many different ways to provide cold to an injury. Many sports health therapists employ the use of certain chemical packs that are kept cold in a freezer and can be used over and over again. Another type of pack features two separate internal compartments of chemicals that, once heavy rubbing breaks the inner lining, combine together and go through an endothermic (cold-generating) process.

Composite Neoprene Sports Wraps

Coaches and sports therapists usually do not have time to patch together a cold compress right on the sidelines for an injured athlete. They usually purchase sports wrap compresses that have frozen chemical packs already built in to their linings. These can be instrumental in tackling pain instantly and starting the healing process on the field, not in the emergency room.

These cold compresses place cold and pressure immediately upon the injured area with no hesitation. By doing so, the injured area has less of a chance to become inflamed and swollen with blood. This in turn creates a higher chance for faster recovery and assures both the athlete and the team that he will be back in the game sooner rather than later.

A Wide Choice of Manufactured Cold Compresses

Makers of first aid tools for sports understand that the body is made of very irregular shapes, and that we utilize bending joints throughout the day. In order to deal with these irregularities, many of them have created custom-fit body compresses to match the shape and function of specific body parts, like knees, elbows, shoulders, upper and lower back, ankle/calf and wrist. These cold compressions instantly wrap around the injured area in question and stay on snugly and securely, without the need for further anchors or bandages.

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