Board Certified Pain Management Doctors

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. Also, it reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that has been injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in managing pain. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some tips. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has an numbing effect that slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. As with heat therapy, you should adhere to the appropriate procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can cause ice burns and hives.

Swelling is decreased
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to decrease swelling and then apply heat to ease discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15 minutes, alternating between each day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. It is usually the best option for pain that is acute, such as a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent such as chronic joint pain. However, there is no strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When used for a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended, just like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to Hives or ice burns.

While both heat and cold therapy are beneficial but they have distinct negative effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also provide a psychological calming effect which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.