Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially effective in pain management due to its soothing effects on the joints. But which method should you select to ease your pain? Here are some tips. Be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also produce the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins since this can lead to ice burns and hives.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open injuries and should not be recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from illnesses should consult their physician before applying cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the beginning stages of the pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy improves blood flow and also warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For 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.
Depending on the nature of injury, cold or heat therapy is the most effective way of reducing pain. In general, heat is the best option for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t a hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for those who are suffering from severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two kinds 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 duration. Exposure to cold for too long could result in ice burns and itching.
Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but they have side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer making it an ideal choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.