TopicGetting Past the Pain - How to Heal Without the Drugs
A chronic injury tends to be slower to develop with no one single Unlock Your Hip Flexors 2.0 event triggering the injury. The injury is longstanding although may come and go. Typically it is the result of long term overuse but can also be the end result of an inadequately treated acute injury.
Quite simply, acute injuries need to be treated with ice as it reduces inflammation at the injury site. When combined with compression, cold therapy initially constricts the blood vessels and reduces the amount of blood that can reach the injured area. This also has the outcome of limiting any bleeding at the site of the injury. Another benefit of cold therapy is that cold can decrease muscle spasm, reducing sensitivity to stretching.
The reduced swelling from using cold therapy allows greater movement in the injured muscle/joint and so reduces the functional loss related to the injury. The swelling associated with the inflammatory response may also produce an increased pressure in the tissue, leading to the area becoming more painful. This pain is believe to be intensified by chemicals that are released into the blood when tissue is damaged and so vasoconstriction from applying ice also decreases pain.
Normal procedure is to apply ice, wrapped in a towel or something similar ice should not be left directly applied to the skin for around 1015 minutes at a time. The temperature at the injury site is then permitted to return to normal and then the ice is reapplied. This iceon iceoff procedure can be repeated, for up to a couple of days for particularly nasty acute injuries. A form of ice that adapts to the shape of the injured area works best hence the common suggestion of a packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel. Leaving the ice on for too long can result in ice burns/frostbite and the Hunting Response may result.