Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy can reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both types of therapy can be used together!
Inflammation is reduced
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in managing pain due to its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause ice burns and hives.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Also cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.
Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to lessen swelling and then use heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and also warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area in a thin towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15 minutes, alternating between each day to obtain the best results.
Depending on the kind of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which is more effective. Most people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is used to reduce the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also 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 suffering from intense pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended as with heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in the development of hives or ice burns.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, however, they can also cause negative side 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 psychological calming impact on the patient, making it a great choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.