DEEP FREEZE | When do we want to lessen blood flow

In order to lessen blood flow to any area of the body, we need the blood vessels to constrict. This is known as vasoconstriction. In this article, we discuss vasoconstriction and the resulting lessening of blood flow to any given area of the body during an exercise routine.

Blood that flows brings oxygen, nutrients and plasma. It also serves to rid the body of any by-products that can be toxic.  As oxygen gets delivered to the organ or muscle, so carbon dioxide gets taken up and transported back to the heart and lungs in order to be discarded.

When we exercise, we need increased blood flow to our muscles to allow for an increase in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Similarly, we also want an increase in the clearing of carbon dioxide and any other by-products produced by the muscles. During these periods of exercise, the blood flow to our digestive system will decrease since ‘less’ work is being performed in the digestive system than in the muscles.

Post exercise often sees us engage in a cool down routine to allow the body a chance to return to a state of normality. During this cool down, vasoconstriction takes place that decreases the blood flow and assists with the clearing of toxins.

Decreased blood flow can be achieved through cryotherapy ‐ the use of ice and cold to bring about vasoconstriction. As it is not always possible to have an ice bath or cold therapy after exercise, it helps to have cold gels (such as Deep Freeze Cold Gel) on hand to help bring about cooling to an area or muscle. This leads to vasoconstriction and the resulting decreased blood flow to an area, allowing for the normal state to be reached sooner. 

Sometimes when we train, injury occurs.  We get tackled, hit by a ball, club or stick or suffer an impact injury that can cause bruising.  Again, if we apply ice or Deep Freeze Cold Gel it results in less blood flow to the area and, therefore, less bruising. This same principle is often also used by massage therapists.  For example, at times working deeply into the soft muscular tissue to fix a problem might result in bruising.  Therapists will therefore often apply Deep Freeze Cold Gel to lessen this. 

In summary, blood flow needs to decrease for the body to return to a normal state after exercise.  When injury occurs, less blood flow will mean less bruising and less swelling. Known as vasoconstriction, it can also be achieved by using ice or Deep Freeze Cold Gel.

Article written by EPT – The Ultimate Sports Recovery Experts