Beverly Hills Pain Management Center

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy reduces the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it increases the flow of blood 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 lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its soothing effects on joints. Which therapy should you use for your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. And, make sure you check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. As with the use of heat therapy, you must follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can lead to ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not use this treatment. In addition cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to reduce swelling and then apply heat to relieve pain. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and warms muscles prior to you can start your workout. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to provide the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. However, there isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which one is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t suitable for all people including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health ailments. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long may lead to ice burns and hives.

While both heat and cold therapy have their benefits however, they have distinct adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer, making it a great choice for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.