Dr Buonocore Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears to muscles. Cold therapy also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which one of the therapies should you choose to alleviate your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is effective at 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 therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. It is recommended to follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause ice burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should avoid this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to lessen swelling and then use heat to relieve pain. Heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with towels to provide the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes multiple times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, either cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. The majority of people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for severe pain from injuries, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to ice burns or hives.

While both cold and heat therapy are beneficial however, they have distinct negative effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the lower blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer, making it a great choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.