Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and overuse injuries. 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 assist with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling and warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which therapy should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must follow the proper protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to the skin to burn and cause hives.
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. It should not be utilized on patients with chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for those suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Patients who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy, on the other hand reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with towels to provide the most effective relief. For better results cold therapy must be used for at least 15 minutes a day.
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. For acute pain, like an injury to a muscle it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. However, there is no hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is best for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission through the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause ice burns or hives.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have negative effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological impact on the patient, making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.