Dr Billings Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears to muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The greatest thing is that both kinds of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. Which method should you select to relieve your discomfort? Here are some tips. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. You should follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 mins as it could result in Hives or ice burns.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy should not be utilized on patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy is not recommended for open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients with ailments should consult with their physician prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas that are affected in the early stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to lessen swelling and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in towels to provide the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes at a time to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like muscles strains heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health ailments. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Exposed to cold for too long could lead to ice burns and hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages, they have different side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce 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. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.