Dr Charles Willis Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while 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. What treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has an numbing effect that reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 minutes since this could lead to burning or hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This treatment should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas that are affected in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to reduce swelling and then apply heat to ease discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the best relief. For best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for reducing pain. It is usually the best alternative for pain that’s acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is used to reduce discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
When used for various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time like heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.

Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits but they have distinct side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer, which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.