Cryostretching is a technique combining cold therapy or cryotherapy and stretching. Application of a cold pack is used to reduce muscle spasms and so increase flexibility.

Cryostretching involves three phases of cold application, static stretching and then contract - relax technique. First the body part is cooled for up to 20 minutes in which time it should become numb.

Following this two sets of 65 second stretches are applied with a 20 second rest between sets. Each period of 65 seconds consists mainly of static stretching, with three 5 second isometric contractions interspersed throughout the stretch. There should not be any pain throughout the procedure.

Ice reduces muscle spasm allowing the muscle to relax more and so increasing the stretch. Static stretches overcome the stretch reflex to reduce muscle spasm. Muscle relaxation is often greater following a contraction than before

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Cold Therapy P.R.I.C.E. Principles

The PRICE principles are the gold standard set for treating acute sports injuries. The acronym stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Hot vs Cold Therapy

There is often confusion following an injury concerning whether to apply cold therapy or whether to warm the area. The answer depends on the type of injury you have sustained.

Effects of Cryotherapy

Cold therapy or cryotherapy has a number of effects on the body both immediately after injury and later in the rehabilitation process.

Cryotherapy Contraindications

A contraindication to cold therapy is an injury or condition that would make applying cold therapy to a sports injury dangerous.