Chronic Pain Management Toolkit

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly If done correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to relieve your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has a numbing effect and reduces pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has some limitations. It should not be utilized on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be recommended for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective way of alleviating pain. The most effective method is heat. treatment for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which is more effective. The majority of people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for some individuals especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When applied to a variety of health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages but they have distinct adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries that result from lower blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, making it a great choice to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.