Chicago Pain Management Clinic

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy reduces the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially effective in pain management due to its calming effects on joints. Which treatment should you choose for your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. You should follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 minutes as it could result in ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not be using this method. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for people who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only in the beginning stages of the pain.

Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to reduce swelling and then heat to ease pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. For best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. It is usually the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is chronic such as chronic joint pain. There is no one right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat various health conditions. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two types of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. Being exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns and the development of hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they have negative side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has a psychological calming impact on the patient, making it a great choice for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.