Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling, while the warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. What method should you select to relieve your pain? Here are some ideas. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has an numbing effect that slows down pain signals to the brain. There are many effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including cold baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold pack. It is recommended to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause the skin to burn and cause hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Additionally cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to reduce swelling and then apply heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy, on the other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the area affected with a towel to give the most effective relief. For the best results cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15-20 minutes several times per day.
Depending on the nature of injury, cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t any definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is best for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.
If used to treat a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as the development of hives.
Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they also have side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.