Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When used appropriately If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or muscle tears. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the injured area. And it can help with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. 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, heat therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. Which therapy should you choose to ease discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Make sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also produces a numbing effect and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are many effective cold therapy options, such as ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Just like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause the skin to burn and cause hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Also cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections must consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area in a thin towel. For the best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best treatment for pain that is acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more effective. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.
If used to treat various health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. If exposed to cold for too long could lead to ice burns and hives.
Both cold and warm therapy have advantages, but both have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has an emotional calming effect which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.