Dr David Jager Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five working days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears to muscles. Cold therapy can reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. But which treatment should you choose for your discomfort? 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 efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are numerous effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the cold pack on your skin for more than 20 mins since this could lead to ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not use this method. Also cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections must consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area in a thin towel. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t a single solution that is right or wrong. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for everyone, especially children and pregnant women. 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.

Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat various health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long could lead to ice burns and the development of hives.

While both heat and cold therapy have benefits but they have distinct adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute that result from reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, making it a great choice for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.