Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. Cold therapy decreases the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also help with joint pain that is chronic. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has a numbing effect and slows down pain signals to the brain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. As with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the right procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.
Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It should not be utilized on those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be considered for those with circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior using this therapy. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.
Doctors suggest that you apply ice to reduce swelling, and then apply heat to ease pain. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with an apron to provide the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes at a time to get the most effective results.
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There is no correct or incorrect treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for everyone, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Long-term exposure to cold can result in ice burns or hives.
Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological impact on the patient, making it a great choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.