Changes in local blood volume during cold gel pack application to traumatized ankles

M. Weston, C. Taber, L. Casagranda, Mark W Cornwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


Whether application of a cold modality following soft tissue trauma causes reactive vasodilation is an important clinical question since one goal of using a cold modality is to limit edema formation. 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 reduction in local blood volume occurred during cold gel pack application compared with rest. A significant vasodilation response was not 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)

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