Dr Ben Meir Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Reduces inflammation
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in managing pain. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Make sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in ice burns and hives.

Swelling is reduced
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and warms muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the area affected with a towel to provide the most effective relief. For the best results, cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. However, there is no exact and definite rule for which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Long-term exposure to cold can result in the development of hives or ice burns.

While both cold and heat therapy have advantages, they have different side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects making it a suitable option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.