Dr Fletcher Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used If done correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area that has been injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in managing pain. But what therapy should you use to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates the sensation of numbness and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. It is recommended to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause burns and hives.

Swelling is lessened
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This method should not be utilized on those suffering from chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with illnesses should consult their physician prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas that are affected in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. For better results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy is the most effective method for reducing pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t any definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to lessen discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing extreme pain due to an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health ailments. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to ice burns or hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute, which are due to decreased blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer, making it a good choice for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.