Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the 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. But what treatment should you choose for your pain? Here are some ideas. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also help reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s pain signals. There are numerous effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins since this can lead to irritation and hives.
Swelling is decreased
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not use this method. Additionally cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior applying this therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with an apron to provide the best relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.
It’s dependent on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as chronic joint pain. There isn’t a hard and fast rule for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat various health ailments. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. It also decreases pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long could result in ice burns and hives.
Both cold and hot therapy have advantages, but both have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by reduced blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological effects that calm which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.