How to use a Cold Therapy Machine – The Right Way
In a recent review round up we gave you the low down on 5 of the best cold therapy machines currently on the market.
And assuming you have recently gone out and bought one of these effective tools, you’re going to want to know how to safely use one.
Well that’s exactly where this short guide aims to help. We’ve pulled together some handy step-by-step tips on using a cold therapy machine, as well as linked out to some really good Youtube videos that cover the subject.
So are you ready to get rid of those aches and pains?
Good, let’s get to it.
Setting up your cold therapy machine
Your standard cold therapy machine is actually very simple. There are not many components to this tool. Most units consist of a reservoir, a plug for the mains outlet and the cold therapy pad.
This makes the set up quite easy. First, add cubed or chunk ice into the reservoir. Cold water should then be added on top.
While the instructions for your particular machine will instruct just how much ice to add, a good rule of thumb is to insert as much ice as possible, while leaving enough water to pump through the pad.
It is vital that you don’t run the machine dry as this could damage it.
Attach the Cold Pad to the machine
The next step is to connect up the cold pad to your machine.
Most cold therapy units will have a simple snap attachment on the tube that connects the pad to the reservoir.
Make sure it’s completely secure before turning the machine on, you don’t want icy water all over your floor now do you.
During operation you may find that a little condensation appears on the pipe and or pad. This is perfectly normal, especially on hot days.
Attach the cold pad to the area requiring treatment
The pad is now ready to be pressed against your area of injury.
Most pads secure to the body using either velcro, straps or ace bandages. Consult the manual trhat came with your machine to get fully up to speed to the specific attachment process your unit uses, (even though each of the common methods is pretty self explanatory).
One important thing you must ensure is in place is a proper insulator in between yourself and the pad. This is to prevent potential frost bite. A small cloth or towel is the normal approach used by many.
Switch on the machine
Now it’s time to feel the full benefits of your new machine.
With the unit filled with ice and water, the pad securely connected and attached to your area of injury, you can switch on the machine.
Icy cold water will be pumped through the cold therapy unit to help reduce inflammation to the muscle and skin.
Typical usage time is anywhere from 3 to 4 hours; however you should seek advice from a specialist regarding the exact amount of time you should use the machine for in any one sitting, (and at what intervals).
When using the machine, you should occasionally remove the pad to check the skin for signs of frostbite, blisters or welts. Such instances are rare, however it doesn’t mean that it might not happen to you.
Carefully pack everything away
For reasons of hygiene you should ensure that the cold therapy machine is cleaned thoroughly before being packed away.
First switch off the machine and then remove the pad from your body. The pad should then be held up above the machine so that the water can drain back inside.
Only disconnect the pad once you have carried the machine to a sink or bath. Water will trickle out of the pipe.
Once you have drained the water from the pad, it is now time to fully empty the reservoir. Tip the water into the sink and dry the inside with a cloth or paper towel. Do this comprehensivly so that there is no chance of mold or bacterial growth during storage.
If your machine has a filter you will need to clean and dry that too.
Before packing everything away, let the components sit in a warm dry area for all the water molecules to be fully evaporated.
A clean and dry cold therapy machine while in storage, will last you many years to come
And there you have it, a simple guide to safely operate your cold therapy machine. Follow these instructions to keep your unit in tip tip condition. Hopefully the same can be said for your body after a few hours of therapy.