Ice and the fight against swelling: a long story!

Let’s continue our journey in the discovery of ice and its benefits. In this and in our next article we will take a real journey through time, to understand how ice therapy has evolved. But first, some technical explanations!

Written Friday, by Emanuele Mortarotti

Welcome back to the Dispotech, your disposable excellence blog!

Let’s continue our journey in the discovery of ice and its benefits. In this and in our next article we will take a real journey through time, to understand how ice therapy has evolved. But first, some technical explanations!

For many years now, it has been a common practice to apply ice on a bruise to reduce swelling. Research in the medical field has always been interested in ice and its benefits. Many professionals in the field use ice as the first remedy for an injury because it slows circulation in the affected area and offers maximum reduction of accumulated swelling.

Is this the right approach? Let’s clear things up on this point: swelling.

Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing - exactly, you’ve read correctly ... we haven’t lost our minds! It is, rather, a normal process that affects the human body. When a tissue is affected by trauma, the body tries to remove the damaged stimulus and begin the healing process. Part of this process is to increase blood circulation and lymphatic flow to and from the part that hurts.

The metaphor that could be used to better explain this process is "keep the food, throw out the rubbish". The “food” is all the blood that accelerates the healing process and the inflammatory cells that serve to “clean up" the damaged tissue. However, this process increases fluid in the affected part, meaning the swelling will remain as long as the annoying sensation of pain. After all this, there will be a large accumulation of "rubbish" that must be disposed of outside the area affected by swelling: this is the role of the lymphatic system, which helps remove all the "waste" and excess fluids that cause inflammation. Let's find out more about how the lymphatic system is important for the inflammatory process

The “motorway” of swelling: the lymphatic system

 

Our body uses two different circulation systems. The main one is properly called the circulatory system, which includes the heart, arteries and veins. The second is the lymphatic system, a system composed of small "basins" that help to direct excess fluids from the heart and reach the main circulatory system. The "unfortunate" aspect of the lymphatic system is that it has no autonomous force and "life of its own": the only way any lymphatic fluid has to move within the body is, in fact, through the movement and activity of the surrounding muscles. Muscle activity causes a "squeezing" effect on the lymphatic vessels and pushes the fluid towards the heart. Without movement, the swelling would remain stationary and could not be expelled from the area in which it is located.

Next week’s appointment is with the second part of the article! For any information or clarifications, don’t hesitate to contact Dispotech, your disposable excellence.

Emanuele Mortarotti
Author Emanuele Mortarotti

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