Cryotherapy is a term that describes the application of ice, cold towels, ice massage and compresses to reduce the temperature of tissues directly below the surface of the skin. Surface cooling constricts blood vessels, numbs painful areas, and relaxes muscle spasms. Colder temperatures reduce nerve transmission of painful symptoms and provide temporary relief. Ice is most often used to manage acute injuries or recent eruptions of chronic conditions. Cooling affected tissues is effective in reducing and preventing post traumatic swelling. Local cooling should be applied several times a day during the initial stages of an injury.