Dr Branton Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately When used properly, a combination and cold therapies can offer relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both types of therapy can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in managing pain due to its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to follow the proper protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as it could result in Hives or ice burns.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It should not be utilized on those suffering from chronic injuries. Also cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for people with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to help reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. For acute pain, such as muscles strains, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no one best or worst treatment. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is better for severe pain from injuries, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended like heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in an increase in hives or iceburns.

Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, but both have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute that result from decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological effects that calm and is a good option for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.