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How Do I Choose the Best Cold Therapy Unit?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2014
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When choosing the best cold therapy unit for your needs, there are several factors to consider. Cold therapy units are available in a variety of styles, such as portable or stationary, offer several pad sizes and shapes, and vary in price. These systems are often used following muscle injury and after surgery to reduce swelling and pain to the affected area. Cold therapy units are growing in popularity with sports therapist and doctors because, unlike conventional ice packs, cold therapy systems provide consistent temperatures throughout the treatment and do not require assistance to use. Modern cold systems also include compression and pulsing features for enhanced therapeutic benefits.

Cold therapy systems are offered in a wide selection of styles and models. One popular cold therapy unit option is a portable model because it provides convenience and reliability at event sites and make an excellent addition to first aid kits. Most portable units can be powered by either electricity or a battery pack. You may also choose to purchase a stationary cold therapy unit. These units are especially helpful for people with chronic pain or during the post-surgical recovery period.

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Pad size and shape is an important consideration when choosing the best cold therapy unit as well. Consumers are encouraged to choose units with appropriately sized pads for proper fit, coverage, and maximum benefit. Some cold unit pads are designed to encase the affected joint, such as the knee or elbow after injury or surgery, while others are intended for use on larger parts of the body, such as the hip or back. Regardless of size and shape, most pads are equipped with a protective cloth covering to ensure the skin is protected from the cold temperature during therapy. Some cold therapy systems are available with several different treatment pads for the consumer's convenience.

Another consideration that must be made when choosing the best cold therapy unit for your needs is the price. Some insurance companies are willing to provide part or full payment for these devices if medical need has been established. It is far more common for patients to pay for cold therapy units out-of-pocket. In most cases, the portable cold therapy systems are more affordable because they are smaller and usually have fewer advanced features. These units run the range of several hundred to a few thousand US dollars, depending on the make, model, and size of the unit.

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