Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When used appropriately, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling and heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in managing pain. But which treatment should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause an numbing effect, which slows 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 recommended to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause the skin to burn and cause hives.
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. It should not be utilized on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior using this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.
It’s based on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There is no one best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by your brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Being exposed to cold for too long can result in ice burns as well as hives.
Both cold and heat therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.