Dr Bradley Hill Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and increases blood flow. The heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially effective in pain management due to its soothing effects on joints. But which method should you select for your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces the sensation of numbness and reduces pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.

Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not be using this treatment. Also cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior using this therapy. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the best relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t any exact and definite rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people particularly pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
When applied to various health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by 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. Long-term exposure to cold can result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but both have adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming impact on the patient, making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.