Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. The cold therapy helps reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both kinds of therapy can be used in conjunction!
Inflammation is lessened
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like with heating therapy, it is essential to follow the proper procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause ice burns and hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for patients who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to help reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in a towel to give the best relief. To get the best results cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times per day.
It’s based on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain or has been causing joint pain. There is no best or worst treatment. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those who are suffering from a severe pain from an injury.
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.
While both heat and cold therapy have advantages but they have distinct negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.