Dr Daniel Merck Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. The cold therapy helps reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. This helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing 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 calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management. Which treatment is best for your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. And, make sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also produce 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 important to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 mins because this could cause the development of hives or ice burns.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Additionally cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections must consult their doctor before using this therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a light towel. For the best results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times per day.

Reduces pain
It depends on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. In general, heat is the best solution for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there is no hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to many people who suffer from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health ailments. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, however, they can also cause adverse effects. Injuries that are acute 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 enhancing circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect making it a suitable option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.