Dr Belcher Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in managing pain. But what treatment should you choose for your pain? Here are some ideas. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces the sensation of numbness and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. You should follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. It is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. In addition, cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections must consult their doctor before applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to relieve pain. Heat therapy improves blood flow and also warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. It is usually the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to lessen discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those who are suffering from a severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration like heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long can result in ice burns and the development of hives.

While both cold and heat therapy have advantages, they have different negative effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer making it a great choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.