Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood 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 decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially efficient in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some ideas. Also, be sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are numerous effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. You should follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause ice burns and hives.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. It should not be utilized on those suffering from chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections must consult their doctor before applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
Doctors recommend that you apply ice to reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and also warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to provide the best relief. For the best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.
Based on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective method for relieving pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, such as a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Many people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to ease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended similar to heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long could lead to ice burns and itching.
Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits however, they have distinct negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to diminished blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer, which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.