Dr Grana Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Reduces inflammation
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. What therapy should you pick to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has an numbing effect that reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including ice baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold pack. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can cause burns and hives.

Swelling is lessened
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This treatment should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for patients with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with ailments should consult with their physician prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area in a thin towel. To get the best results treatment, cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t a single right or wrong treatment. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It specifically numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health ailments. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

Both cold and warm therapy have advantages, however, they can also cause negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by lower blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has an emotional calming effect making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.