Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and overuse injuries. It also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in managing pain due to its soothing effects on the joints. What therapy should you pick to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down the brain’s signals for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold packs. You should follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause burns and hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not use this method. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of the pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area in an apron to provide the most effective relief. For the best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.
Based on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in relieving pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety health ailments. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long can result in ice burns as well as itching.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, however, they can also cause adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries caused by diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also have a psychological calming effect which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.