Baycare Pain Management Doctors

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. This promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints it is especially efficient in managing pain. Which treatment is best to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also trigger an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, it has some limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.

Doctors suggest that you apply ice to reduce swelling and then use heat to ease pain. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area in a towel to give the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and extent of the injury which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Most people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to decrease 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 suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option for those suffering from severe injuries, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat various health issues cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two types of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration like heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long can cause ice burns or hives.

While both heat and cold therapy have advantages but they have distinct adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries, which are due to diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological effects that calm, making it a good option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.