Have you ever thought of ice for INTERNAL pain relief?
For every fall, scrape, or accidental run-in with an inanimate object (walls, poles, etc.), there’s a frozen bag of peas for that. It’s the oldest trick in mom’s book. Using ice to alleviate pain is a method that’s been around for ages. It’s something everyone can identify with. But why and how does it work exactly?
When ice contacts the skin, it transmits a sensory input that reroutes (and essentially blocks) the path pain neurons take en route to the brain (much like the effect rubbing has on a painful area). Ice also causes vessels to constrict which decreases blood flow to the area. By decreasing the blood flow, you minimize swelling and inflammation. When you bruise or hurt yourself, that area of the body goes into overdrive trying to fix itself. Adding ice makes the injured tissue go into a very short lived hibernation which will slow down cell damage and decrease spasms.
Ice, as simple as it may be, is actually quite brilliant for pain relief. People think of ice for external pain relief, but have you ever considered ice internally?
At Kansas City Foot and Ankle, we take the use of ice one step further in pain management. Cryoanalgesia, or cryotherapy, is a procedure in which we apply low temperatures to a painful area with a special probe. Cryotherapy creates a change in the nerve structure without destroying it. It’s almost like keeping a mini ice pack wrapped around the nerve indefinitely. While holding a bulky ice pack on an injury is short lived, this procedure is very long lasting. And it’s incredibly safe. Plantar fasciitis and Morton’s neuromas are two conditions easily treated with cryotherapy.
People with plantar fasciitis have pain due to excessive tension on a ligament called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects from the heel to the ball of the foot. Every time you stretch out the plantar fascia, the plantar fascia is going to reciprocate the favor with pain and inflammation. To stop the pain, cryotherapy is extremely effective (as opposed to other avenues like cortisone shots).
The procedure to long lasting pain relief only takes six minutes. Cryotherapy is performed right in office and requires not a single stitch. You can return to normal shoes immediately. After the procedure, the pain you once felt will begin to disappear. Most patients are symptom and pain free within a few weeks. In the time it took you to read this article, you could already be on your way to feeling pain free. Call us today at Kansas City Foot and Ankle. With our advanced use of ice, the only thing that will melt away is your pain.