This term refers to the use of cold packs to reduce swelling and inflammation after an injury or surgery. Perhaps most importantly, cryotherapy is used for vasoconstriction, which reduces bleeding and tissue edema. Moreover, cooling sensory nerve endings decreases excitability, thus producing a temporary analgesic effect.
This therapy is usually performed using cold gel-packs on larger joints, whilst smaller joints, tendon inflamation and bursitis can be treated by massaging with ice.
Patients must wait at least a couple of hours between applications and cover the skin to avoid frostbite.