Changes in Local Blood Volume During Cold Gel Pack Application to Traumatized Ankles

Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, April 1994; 19(4): pp. 197-199; doi: 10.2519/jospt.1994.19.4.197

Weston M, Taber C, Casagranda L, Cornwall M; NovaCare Inc., Sacramento, CA

Abstract Content:  The purpose of this study was to measure change in local blood volume during application of a cold gel pack following inversion sprain of the ankle. Fifteen volunteers participated as subjects (age range: 18-46 years, mean age: 22.2 years). A bilateral tetrapolar impedance plethysmograph was used with venous occlusion to measure the change in local limb volume at the ankle over a 20-minute period during two conditions: at rest and with cold gel pack application. A significant vasodilation response was no observed. The lack of vasodilation response lends support to the clinical use of a cold gel pack following soft tissue trauma when applied to the ankle for a period of up to 20 minutes.