Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. But which therapy should you use for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heat therapy, you should follow the proper procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.
Swelling is lessened
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This method should not be used on those suffering from chronic injuries. Also cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying cold therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a light towel. To get the best results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times per day.
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There is no one best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.
The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to ease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people particularly pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission through the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and itching.
Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by diminished blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.