Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially effective in pain management due to its soothing effects on the joints. What therapy should you use 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 in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. You should not leave the cold pack on your skin for longer than 20 mins since this could lead to ice burns or hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not be using this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be suggested for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then heat to ease discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a soft towel. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes, alternating between each day to get the most effective results.
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, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There isn’t a single best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for some individuals especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those who suffer from intense pain from an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
When used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Prolonged cold exposure can cause the development of hives or ice burns.
While both heat and cold therapy have their benefits but they have distinct side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer making it an ideal choice to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.