Dr Greg Smith Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When properly used, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and overuse injuries. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially effective in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Also, be sure you check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy is efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause ice burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This method is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with towels to provide the best relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy can be the most effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. The majority of people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two types of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.

While both heat and cold therapy have benefits, they have different side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.