Dayton Outpatient Center Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially effective in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. But which treatment is best for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure you check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also trigger the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Just like with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 mins since this could lead to ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with a towel to give the best relief. For better results cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15 minutes a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in decreasing pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. There are two types of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended as with heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages however, they have distinct side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by reduced blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.