Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used when used correctly, a combination of hot 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 tears in muscles. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. And, make sure to check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has an numbing effect that slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. Similar to the use of heat therapy, you must follow the proper procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes since this could lead to burning or hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not use this treatment. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior activities. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with towels to provide the most effective relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for reducing pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for pain that is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t a single right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from a severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Exposure to cold for too long can result in ice burns as well as hives.

While both cold and heat therapy have benefits However, they come with different side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer making it a good choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.