Today's Dispotech blog article is about an unfortunate nuisance common to many people: neck pain. One of the cheapest but also effective remedies is to apply ice to the painful area - possibly combined with targeted exercises for muscle relaxation. Let’s find out thanks to a blog post on necksolutions.com..
All therapies involving the use of cold and the benefits of ice are known as cryotherapy. For neck pain, in particular, an ice pack can be useful, especially if it is intended to soothe the pain resulting from an inflammatory response to injury. Inflammation can be greatly reduced both in severity and pain by using ice: the cold constricts the blood vessels and decreases nerve conduction, producing an analgesic effect.
An ice pack can be placed on the neck either wrapped in a dry towel or wrapped in a warm cloth. In the first instance, direct ice contact on the skin and possible cold burns will be avoided; in the second one, the heat will help to gradually adapt to the cold, improving its effects.
An ice pack should be kept on the painful area for no more than 20-30 minutes per application. If you suffer from whiplash it is advisable to use an icepack for 10 minutes every waking hour during the first 24-48 hours - however, it is always advisable to consult your doctor for any clarification.
After these intervals, the ice packs must be placed back in the freezer to freeze again. These medical devices must be handled with care, cleaned and stored as outlined in the user instructions.
When to use ice packs for neck pain?
A study published in 2015 says that "the physiological effects of cold therapy include reductions in pain, blood flow, oedema, inflammation, muscle spasm and metabolic demand".
The beneficial effects of an ice pack are only indicated for specific situations and should not be regarded as the solution to everything. Ice is recommended to alleviate inflammation and swelling as well as sprains, strains, bursitis, arthritis and tendinitis. On the other hand, it is not recommended for morning stiff neck - for which a warm compress should resolve the problem.
There are few contraindications to ice therapy, which is safe in itself.
Some people may suffer from a neurological disorder in which the cold receptors are hypersensitive. People suffering from diabetes, arteriosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout should also avoid using ice packs. As mentioned above, it is always advisable to receive medical advice from a competent professional.
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