What Does Cold Compression Do?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Foot Tendonitis are pain, swelling and inflammation. Sometimes there is no external swelling, but the pain is a sign that you may have some inflammation deep down in the soft tissue that you cannot see.
Cold and compression work together to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. Cold and compression are much more effective when used together versus using just one or the other.
If you have Foot Tendonitis, one of the first things you should do is get control of the pain and swelling. This is the first step towards healing. You can’t start increasing blood flow to your foot until the swelling and inflammation are under control.
When Should it Be Used?
While cold therapy is ideal in the first 24-48 hours after injury, it is also effective during any flare-ups of pain and inflammation you experience throughout the recovery process. Re-injury is very common and should not be ignored. If you re-injure your foot, you should treat it like you did in the first 24-48 hours after becoming injured.
Cold compression is also effective immediately after any kind of physical activity. This will help bring down any inflammation and swelling that may have occurred while you were on your feet.
If you’re using cold therapy, do a treatment every 20 minutes, as needed.
How Does it Work?
Cold constricts the blood vessels, slowing the flow of blood. This works to reduce swelling in the area, which in turn helps to relieve the pain. When cold is applied to the foot, this can also cause numbing, which further helps to relieve pain. If cold is applied for long enough, your nerves can actually numb and block the pain signals being sent to your brain. Cold also helps to bring down swelling by decreasing the amount of blood flow in the area of your injury. Cold causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the area and decreasing your inflammation. Bringing down the inflammation also means pain relief.
What Kind of Cold Compression Should I Use?
While some people may use a bag of peas or ice from the freezer, we recommend using a Foot Wrap that is designed to provide both cold and compression. A bag of ice or peas is not going to give you much compression at all, and may prove to be dangerous. If you’re using something directly from the freezer, you should wear a layer of clothing between it and your skin (ex. a sock) to avoid burns. A Foot Wrap that is specially designed for the shape of the foot can provide better targeting and is also more comfortable. Being able to slip a cold gel pack into the wrap and then apply it to your foot means superior cold compression. Many wraps actually allow you to adjust the fit and tightness for custom support. This site compares various Foot Wraps: