Dr Bruce Hairston Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. The cold therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially effective in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to alleviate your pain? 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 extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to follow the proper procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause burns and hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy should not be utilized on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Additionally, those suffering from infections must consult their physician prior applying this treatment. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of the pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes at a time for the best results.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like muscles strains heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is used to reduce 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 painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling 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 are suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
When used for a variety of health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. In addition, cold therapy can reduce the transmission of pain signals by the 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. Long-term exposure to cold can result in Hives or ice burns.

Although both cold and heat therapy have their benefits, they have different side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.