Dr Anthony Guarino Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. What treatment should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some tips. Also, be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy also helps reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also trigger a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas affected in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes multiple times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
It depends on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as muscles strains, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. However, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for which is more effective. The majority of people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people including pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended, just like heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in an increase in hives or iceburns.

Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but both have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by decreased blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.