Alton Memorial Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in managing pain due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which therapy should you use to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Just like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause the skin to burn and cause hives.

Swelling is decreased
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be suggested for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to applying cold therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the affected areas in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15 minutes at a time to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people including pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety of health conditions. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns and itching.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they also have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute that result from diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has a calming psychological impact on the patient, making it a great choice to manage chronic pain. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.