Dr Alexander Hersel Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears to muscles. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling and heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. What treatment should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure you check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has an numbing effect, which slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to burns and hives.

Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be recommended for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a light towel. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t any strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which one is more efficient. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat various health conditions. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended like heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as hives.

Both cold and hot therapy have advantages, but they also have negative effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also have a psychological calming effect and is a good option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.