Dr Brownsberger Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. It also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. This increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling and inflammation, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly efficient in pain management. Which therapy should you choose to alleviate your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Make sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and slows down pain signals to the brain. There are numerous effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold packs. Follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should avoid this treatment. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be considered for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of the pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with a towel to give the best relief. For the best results, cold therapy should be applied for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy is most effective for relieving pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as chronic joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Most people who suffer from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long may cause ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and therapy are beneficial However, they come with different negative effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has psychological calming effects, making it a good option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.