Aetna considers passive cold compression therapy units (e.g., Aircast Cryo/Cuff products, the Polar Care Cub, and Polar Care Packs) medically necessary DME to control swelling, edema, hematoma, hemarthrosis and pain.
Cold packs decrease blood flow to an area to reduce pain and swelling immediately after an injury (1). At Falls Chiropractic and Injury, we utilize cold therapy to reduce the swelling of our patients’ injuries. It is quite a useful therapy particularly when the injury has just occurred. When an injury occurs, there is tearing to the surrounding joint capsules, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
The damage causes an infiltration of edema with immune cells for initiating healing and recovery of the joint. However, if the injury is severe enough it can produce an excessive inflammatory response resulting in severe swelling. This severe swelling leads to the joint having a difficulty in healing, slowing the healing and regenerative process. Therefore, cold packs are very useful in lowering inflammation in a moderate way to allow the body to heal faster and properly.
Most of the time the patient lays on the table comfortably as we apply an ice pack to the area of injury following a chiropractic adjustment if warranted. Please do not hesitate to ask us about this therapy as it relates to your condition!