Dr Gilligan Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears to muscles. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly efficient in pain management because of its soothing effects on joints. What therapy should you pick to ease your pain? Here are some ideas. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also create an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes since this could lead to ice burns or hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas that are affected at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area in a towel to provide the best relief. For the best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in relieving pain. In general, heat is the best alternative for pain that’s acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised for chronic pain such as chronic joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for those who are suffering from severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. If exposed to cold for too long may cause ice burns or hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they have negative side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on those suffering, making it an ideal choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.