Taking the plunge into an ice bath may not be something you want to do, but it could be what your body needs. Many professional athletes use this method to keep their competitive edge during their season. Ice baths don’t benefit only professional athletes however, they can benefit you!
How Can Ice Baths Help?
Ice baths can help to reduce inflammation and recovery time. After an intense workout at the gym or a long run, an ice bath may be what your body needs to recover quickly and reduce the amount of soreness you have or will have from your exercise. Ice baths can also help speed up your recovery time for injuries. The cold temperature reduces the circulation flow of the injury, which is what helps to reduce the inflammation and swelling of an injury. As your body warms up after the ice bath, the blood flow returns to normal circulation.
So why wouldn’t you just use an ice pack? It might be preferable to immersing yourself in an ice bath, but an ice bath is more beneficial to your muscles if you need to target larger, intertwined muscle areas. An ice pack to your ankle may help to reduce swelling in that area, but if you want to try cold therapy for your entire leg, an ice bath would make the most sense. A helpful tip you should pay attention to before attempting an ice bath though is the temperature target range. It should be anywhere from 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit. This will be cold enough to reduce inflammation, but not too cold for your body.
Cold therapy may help your body to heal quicker and help you get back to your active lifestyle. If you’re suffering from an injury or soreness, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. Our physical therapists are trained specifically with your needs in mind to help you on your road to health.