Dr Bernard Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and overuse injuries. The cold therapy helps reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. It is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its calming effects on joints. But which treatment is best for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also produce an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like with heating therapy, it is essential to follow the proper protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. You should not leave the cold pack on your skin for longer than 20 mins because this could cause the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. Cold therapy is not recommended for open wounds and should not be recommended for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease pain. Heat therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with a towel to provide the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes multiple times per day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective way of relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t any one best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It 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 suffer from intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When applied to a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended similar to heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries that result from lower blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It can also have an emotional calming effect, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.