American Academy Of Pain Management Board Certification

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy 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 reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. What treatment should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to using cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of the pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then use heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the affected area with towels to provide the most effective relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15-20 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for reducing pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t any definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. The majority of people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When it is used for various health issues cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended similar to heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to an increase in hives or iceburns.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer making it a good choice for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.