Dr Blick Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain because of its soothing effects on the joints. Which method should you select to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down pain signals to the brain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be recommended for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to using cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you apply ice to decrease swelling, and then apply heat to ease discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area in a thin towel. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It depends on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as muscles strains heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those suffering from intense pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission by the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long could cause ice burns or hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have advantages, but they also have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute that result from decreased blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming impact on the patient, which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.