Dr Kavitha Reddy Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears in muscles. Cold therapy also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both kinds of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in managing pain because of its soothing effects on joints. Which treatment should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Also, be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces pain signals to the brain. There are many effective cold therapy options, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold packs. As with heating therapy, it is essential to follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause irritation and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should avoid this treatment. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be suggested for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas affected in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with an apron to provide the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15 minutes, alternating between each day to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t a hard and fast rule for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and 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. However it isn’t suitable for certain people including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When it is used for various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.

While both cold and heat therapy have advantages however, they have distinct adverse effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also provide psychological effects that calm, making it a good option for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.