Dr David Stewart Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in pain management due to its soothing effects on the joints. But which therapy should you use to relieve your pain? Here are some tips. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are many effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, you should adhere to the right procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 minutes since this could lead to Hives or ice burns.

Swelling is reduced
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in a towel to give the most effective relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There is no one correct or incorrect treatment. Most people who suffer from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. It is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
When applied to a variety of health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission via the brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended, just like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they also have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries which result from decreased blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has psychological calming effects making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.