A study by Susan G. Capps, PhD and Brook Mayberry, DVM, PhD


SOFT TISSUE trauma initiates an inflammatory response that increases the local tissue temperature. Characteristics of inflammation include increased blood flow, edema accumulation, and passage of leukocytes into the tissue spaces. Leukocytes play a central role in removal of infectious agents and tissue debris, but they can also be responsible for cellular injury and necrosis.1 Protection, rest, ice, compression,
and elevation (PRICE)therapy is a widely accepted approach to treatment of soft tissue trauma, which modifies the inflammatory response. Research findings have confirmed the benefits of cryotherapy and static external compression, but the use of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) is a relatively new treatment for soft tissue trauma. This report discusses the potential value of combining cryotherapy with IPC for facilitation of the healing process.


The separate benefits of cryotherapy and external compression appear to be amplified when the two therapeutic modalities are used in combination. External compression helps to restore normal physiologic processes within damaged tissue and it increases the depth of temperature reduction achieved by the application of cold to the body surface. Both the rate and magnitude of tissue cooling are increased by
combined therapy, as compared to the effect of cold application without compression. A greater magnitude of compression is associated with a shorter amount of time for a given level of tissue temperature reduction.

This study was published in Athletic Therapy Today.

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