Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. This stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in pain management. Which treatment should you select to alleviate your pain? Here are some ideas. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signals for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the correct procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in ice burns and hives.
Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this method. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heat therapy improves blood flow and also warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the best relief. For better results cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times per day.
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t any one best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for some individuals including pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for those suffering from severe injuries, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause the development of hives or ice burns.
Both heat and cold therapy have advantages, but they have adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer making it an ideal choice to manage chronic pain. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.