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Frozen Out … no cold therapy for you


Health20: Tap into the Healing Powers of Water to Fight Disease, Look Younger, and Feel Your Best

Cryotherapy Contraindications

Using cold therapy may not be a good idea for some people. Those who are very sensitive to cold will not be able to tolerate icing long enough to do any good. Conversely, those who have a high tolerance to cold or who pride themselves to injury by applying cold therapy too long.

People with problems in the blood vessels near the skin should avoid cold therapy especially those with Raynaud's phenomenon (a condition in which the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears and nose constrict dramatically when exposed to cold and other stimuli). If you suspect you may be at risk because of diabetes or another condition that can reduce blood flow, I suggest checking with your doctor before applying cold ice to an injury.

Contraindications are conditions in which the therapy has the potential to cause harm or make the condition worse.  If you suffer from any of the following, you should not utilize cold therapy. 

  • Impaired sensation. Patients cannot report when they become anesthetic from cold. Tissue damage occurs slightly below temperatures that produce numbness.
  • Impaired circulation: tissue damage may result from vasoconstriction.
  • Open wounds after 48 hours.
  • Hypersensitivity to cold, such as Raynaud's phenomenon, cold urticaria, cryoglobulinemia, and paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
  • Angina pectoris or other severe cardiac disease.
  • Regenerating peripheral nerves.
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Varicose veins
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • Chills
  • Skin conditions (rashes, open wounds)
  • Cancer
  • Additionally, ice should also not be used for patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome, cold allergic conditions, paralysis, or areas of impaired sensation.


cold therapy

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