Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly effective for overuse injuries and tears in muscles. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling and heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. Which treatment should you select to ease your pain? Here are some ideas. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. It is important to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to burns and hives.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for people suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
Doctors suggest that you apply ice to help reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior activities. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. For the best results cold therapy should be applied for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for decreasing pain. For acute pain, like muscles strains, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. However, there isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It slows the deterioration of 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 isn’t appropriate for everyone, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is better to treat injuries that cause extreme pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. In addition, cold therapy can reduce pain signal transmission through the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended as with heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long can result in ice burns and hives.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, however, they can also cause adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also provide 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 management.