Dr Brian Shih Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and injuries sustained from overuse. It also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially efficient in pain management. What therapy should you pick to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces a numbing effect and reduces pain signals to the brain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, such as cold baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold pack. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 mins as it could result in burning or hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This method should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open injuries and should not be recommended for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a light towel. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes at a time for the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy is most effective for alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best option for pain that is acute, such as a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for chronic pain or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t a exact and definite rule for which one is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from a severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration as with heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and therapy are beneficial, they have different negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.