Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. This helps to increase the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management. What therapy should you use to relieve your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. It is recommended to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause the development of hives or ice burns.
Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This method should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. For the best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t any strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Most people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to lessen the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat various health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause Hives or ice burns.
Both cold and heat therapy have their advantages, but both have adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.