Bethesda Naval Hospital Pain Management Clinic

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. The cold therapy helps reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. Which therapy should you choose to ease pain? Here are some ideas. Be sure to look over our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also create a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapy techniques 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 procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the affected areas in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. Heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy on the other hand, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a light towel. For the best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. The most effective method is heat. alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as chronic joint pain. There isn’t a single solution that is right or wrong. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health conditions. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as hives.

While both cold and heat therapy have advantages however, they have distinct side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming 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 management.