- For the analgesic effect (pain relief)
- To effect maximal vasoconstriction (narrowing the blood vessels) thereby reducing the blood volume to the affected area for the duration of the icing.
It has been found that after ± 5 minutes of ice, the vessels in the area are maximally constricted. Should the ice remain on longer, the vessel will start dilating beyond their normal state and thus increase the blood flow to the area. Once the ice has been removed, it takes ±10 minutes before the vessels return to their normal state.
Ice is applied for 5 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
WHY IMMOBOLISE AND REST?
Movement in the joint soon after a bleed will more easily drive blood into the smooth cartilage covering the bone ends, and thus cause damage to it.
Muscle action across a joint increases the pressure in the joint, which could lead to joint damage.
To minimise the damage to muscle fibres – bleeding and muscle contraction increase the intramuscular pressure.
To reduce pain, thus decreasing muscle inhibition or guarding.
To minimise the risks of another bleed at this stage.
WHY STRENGTHEN MUSCLES?
• Muscles are weaker than normal after rest and/or immobilisation.
• Weak muscles cannot support and protect joints adequately thereby joints are more susceptible to recurrent bleeds.
• Retain muscle contractability and regain or improve muscle elasticity, thus reducing the risk of a bleed due to overstretch.
• Regain muscle bulk and improve the appearance of the limb.
WHY IMPROVE BALANCE?
• Balancing exercises re-educate movement patterns and posture automatically.
• Maintaining good balance would reduce the risk of a muscle or joint bleed in the event of stumbling.