Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears in muscles. Cold therapy reduces the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief due to its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signals for pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause ice burns and hives.
Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for people suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to relieve discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the affected area with an apron to provide the best relief. For better results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Based on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy is the most effective way of reducing pain. For acute pain, such as muscles strains, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t a single solution that is right or wrong. Many people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is used to reduce the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from extreme pain due to an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the duration recommended as with heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns and the development of hives.
Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer, making it a great choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.