Dr Brian Flanagan Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and overuse injuries. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. As a result, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both kinds of therapy can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in managing pain. What therapy should you pick to ease pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has the sensation of numbness and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the right procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 mins since this could lead to burning or hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this method. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. For the best results cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to many people who suffer from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. It is recommended to use cold therapy to treat injuries that cause extreme pain because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat various health ailments. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause the development of hives or ice burns.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they also have side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on those suffering, making it a great choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.