An injury can occur at any time when you participate in sports. Depending on the severity of the injury, various treatments are used to attempt to repair the injury so it will heal correctly. Different types of therapy are often used to help promote healing, relieve pain and reduce swelling. These are often referred to as sports therapy and include the following treatments.

Cold Therapy 

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is performed by placing ice packs on the injured area of the body. This helps relieve pain by numbing the injury, and it also reduces swelling. Swelling is reduced because the cold temperature of the ice constricts the blood vessels and limits blood flow to the injured area. 

While ice packs alone are often used when the injury first occurs, cryotherapy may also include a combination of ice and other techniques that can be used to improve the injury during the healing process. This is commonly done to relieve pain during stretching and other exercises that help the patient to regain strength and flexibility.

Heat Therapy 

Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy, is done by applying heat from hot compresses, heating pads or heat lamps to the injury. Heat therapy makes blood vessels dilate, and this sends blood flow to the injury. The blood flow then helps remove dead cells from damaged tissue and carries nutrients to the injury, which promotes healing.

Heat therapy also helps relieve pain by blocking pain receptors. Heat relaxes the muscles, which also reduces pain. Often damp, hot compresses are used to make the heat transfer to the affected area more quickly.


Electrostimulation involves sending mild electrical currents into the injured area of the body. This process prevents nerve cells from sending pain signals to the brain. Electrostimulation also decreases swelling and makes muscles contract. This encourages strength in immobilized limbs to be maintained and increased.


Ultrasounds are also used to produce heat on the injured areas of the body. This is done by applying high-frequency soundwaves to the affected areas. This promotes healing by stimulating the blood flow.


Massage is another form of therapy that is commonly used on those who suffer from sports injuries. By manually pressing, rubbing and manipulating the injured area, this soothes tense muscles and increases blood flow to the injury. 

For some sports injury patients, all these methods are used to encourage healing of their injuries. For more information, contact a center like Eagle Center Physical Therapy.