Chronic Pain Management Support Group

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both types of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management. But what therapy should you use for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces a numbing effect and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 mins since this could lead to burning or hives.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This method is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be used for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to provide the best relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as an injury to a muscle and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. However, there is no hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to ease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Long-term exposure to cold can result in Hives or ice burns.

Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries that result from diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It can also provide an emotional calming effect and is a good option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.