Dr Blake Kelly Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It also helps with joint pain that is chronic. The greatest thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly effective in pain management because of its soothing effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the cold pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause burning or hives.

Swelling is lessened
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, there are some limitations. This method is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be suggested for those with circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas affected at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with a towel to provide the most effective relief. For the best results, cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended when pain is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people especially pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause an increase in hives or iceburns.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer, which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.