Accelerated Rehab And Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or muscle tears. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in managing pain due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s discuss how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces a numbing effect and slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are many effective cold therapy options, such as the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. As with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Also, cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to ease pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with towels to provide the most effective relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective method for relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial to treat injuries that cause extreme pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended similar to heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause an increase in hives or iceburns.

Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, but they have adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It can also provide an emotional calming effect making it a suitable option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.