Beaumont Hospital Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears to muscles. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area that has been injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is reduced
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management due to its calming effects on joints. But what therapy should you use to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signals for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. It is recommended to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can lead to Hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not be using this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be considered for those with circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to help reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as the result of a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t any strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for severe pain from injuries, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission by the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause an increase in hives or iceburns.

Although both cold and therapy have their benefits However, they come with different negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects and is a good option for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.