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Ice The Shoulder

Posted by Cold One Customer Care on

 

 

Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff injuries and subacromial bursis are frequently caused by activities such as a fall or excessive, repetitive, overhead motions.

1. Injury, especially while trying to lift or catch a heavy object
2. Overuse, especially after a period of inactivity
3. Poor blood supply to an area of the cuff (which occurs with increasing age)
4. A fall on an outstretched arm
5. A gradual weakening of the tendons of the shoulder, often associated with impingement

The most recommended immediate treatment following a shoulder soft tissue injury is R.I.C.E. the acronym for:

  • REST 
  • ICE 
  • COMPRESSION 
  • ELEVATION

Rest 
Do not perform any motions which cause pain.  Each time pain is felt, 
the shoulder injury is continuing and delaying healing. Protect your injury.

Ice 
Apply ice for 15-20 minutes to the injured shoulder area at least 2 to 3 times 
a day.  It is important not to ice the shoulder longer than 15-20 minutes at a 
time.  Longer periods can produce skin irritation (cryoburn) and also 
damage underlying tissues.  The icing reduces shoulder swelling by constricting 
the fluids the body rushes to the injury.  Too much fluid (swelling) 
can actually increase the severity of the injury and prolong healing. 
Ice also acts as a temporary shoulder pain reliever by numbing the immediate 
pain receptors.

Compression 
Wrapping the injured shoulder with a compression type of material also reduces 
swelling for the same reasons as ice, but shoulder compression can be applied 
for longer periods of time.  It is important not to wrap an injury too 
tightly as it can cut off circulation.  Wrap the injury 
just tight enough to keep the swelling from increasing while still maintaining circulation.

Elevation 
If possible keep the injured shoulder at about the heart level.  This 
keeps fluids from accumulating in the injury due to gravity.  Often an 
shoulder injury will throb when it is not elevated.  

COLD COMPRESSION THERAPY

The combination of ICE and COMPRESSION is known as COLD COMPRESSION THERAPY.  This therapy is useful after a soft tissue shoulder injury or shoulder surgery.

Recent published medical studies have  shown that cold compression 
therapy following rotator cuff repair and similar surgeries decease 
time to heal, decrease amount of pain medication, decrease the time in 
hospital, and increase range of motion (ROM) immediately following 
surgery and again at 3 days and 3 weeks.

Surgical centers previously used a cold pump and pad devices to apply 
cold compression therapy to the affected area, but recently the 
Medical Insurance Carriers have denied reimbursement to the patient 
for use of such devices citing it is a convenience item, an 
unreasonable expense and do not view the devices as medically 
necessary. The carriers advocate the use of cold compression therapy, 
but favor the use of ice bags and stretchable bandaging as a more 
moderate expense.

This situation has left surgical centers with 'dead' inventory of such 
devices.  As a result, many surgical centers are purchasing 
refreezable cold compression support wraps for their patients use. 
These wraps are surgical quality and cost about the same as multiple 
ice bags and stretchable bandaging.  The wraps can be sent home with 
the patient who finds them to be more convenient to use, thus will use 
them more often; plus they are safe in that there is no possibility of 
over icing.  Medical Insurance Carriers accept the wraps as a 
reasonable expense and medically necessary.

                     Cold One Shoulder Ice Compression Wraps

 

Two Cool Inc which manufactures Cold One® Brand ice compression wraps has developed a line of clinical/surgical quality ice compression shoulder ice wraps to accommodate shoulder surgery patients pre and post surgical procedure.

Consumer information on Cold One can be found at http://www.coldone.com 

 

See a doctor if there is:

  • Severe pain
  • Joint is unstable and can't bear weight

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