Shoulder Cold Therapy is REQUIRED if you have Shoulder Tendonitis, shoulder injury, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, etc.
Icing lower pain levels. Period. Depending on the severity of the issue and how effectively you ice, pain may decrease quickly or slowly. It just all depends.
Across the board, because icing increases circulation, gets irritant and waste product out and new blood, oxygen, and nutrition in, multiple beneficial mechanisms happen when one ices.
Having said that, there are better (more effective) ways to ice, and there are LESS effective ways to ice.
While I'm using the term 'cold therapy', let's there be no mistake. I mean ICE COLD therapy. The colder, the better.
Can you use an Ice Pack? Sure.
Can you use a bag of ice? Sure.
As long as it's ICE COLD, that's a plus.
So then the question goes from, "How Do I Ice My Shoulder?" to "What is the BEST way to ice my shoulder?"
For treating Tendonitis of the Shoulder cold therapy has a few requirements for it to be -more- effective.
A. It MUST BE arctic cold.
B. Leaving it on for 20 minutes, while not bad, wastes a lot of time (no matter what the doctor says).
C. The more the merrier. Which translates to "The More You Ice, The More Benefit You'll Get From It." Little bits as frequently as possible.
D. Along those lines, the more area you cover, the more benefit gets created. More circulation means less irritant and less Pain Enhancing Chemical in the tissue.
It doesn't matter whether your shoulder hurts from playing tennis, rock climbing, pitching a baseball, push ups, pull ups, throwing a frisbee, etc.
It's all the same muscles. It's all the same Process of Inflammation. Yes, every tendonitis and/or injury dynamic is a little bit different, but ALL the basics are ALWAYS in play.
And while icing is not a -fix-, icing is very effective at lowering pain levels. And while it's lowering pain levels it's doing lots of other good things too.
No matter what kind of Tendonitis you have, really it's all the same.
See: What Is Tendonitis
And if you have tendonitis, or any tendon injury, icing is a must. The trick is, icing RIGHT. If you do like your doctor tells you (20 minutes with an ice pack on, then 20 minutes off) and you only do that three times, you're NOT going to get much benefit. Hardly any, really.
If you had a traumatic injury like a fall or hit by a car, will that's a bit different. But in that case Inflammation is a PRIMARY cause of your pain. Lower inflammation and you'll lower your pain levels.
If I just told you to "Go ice your shoulder A LOT," that would be incredibly valuable information. Icing creates results, period.
But. I'm going to give you some more direction and detail so you can better make use of that valuable information.
1. You can use an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas, or a frozen gel pack. And an ace bandage to hold it on.
2. But I wouldn't let it sit there for 20 minutes on, 20 off, 20 on. That's not horrible, and if you're watching tv or working on the computer it's not all bad.
3. But if I were you I'd do 5 on, 5-10 off. 5 on, 5-10 off.
4. Because that's a lot of moving things around, I HIGHLY suggest that you get something like the Double Shoulder Ice Bags Harness
5. Why? Because:
5A. It hits the front AND back of the shoulder. That means it's affecting more muscle and creating more circulatory turnover.
5B. It's convenient and easy to take on and off frequently. Remember, 5 minutes on, 5-10 off, repeat, for best results.
5C. The harness is stable/secure enough you can move your arm around for a little Icercize (moving a structure while the ice is on)
The easier it is to ice your shoulder, the more you'll do it. The Icechest Cold Therapy System is another great alternative for treating the shoulder with cold therapy.
My point is, the easier you make it on yourself, the more you'll do it. The more you do it, the better your shoulder will heal and the faster you'll get your shoulder back to where you want it to be.
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