Dr Charbonnet Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or muscle tears. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief because of its soothing effects on joints. What therapy should you use to ease 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 can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has an numbing effect that slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can cause irritation and hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not use this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be suggested for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy, on the other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. For the best results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15 minutes a day.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, such as a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as chronic joint pain. There is no one right or wrong treatment. Most people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time as with heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to Hives or ice burns.

While both heat and cold therapy are beneficial however, they have distinct side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option for pain management that is ongoing. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.