Dr Maclin Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. In turn, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in pain management. Which method should you select for your discomfort? Here are some tips. Make sure to check out our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 mins as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Swelling is reduced
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no best or worst treatment. The majority of people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is best for those who suffer from extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When applied to various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time like heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and the development of hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have adverse effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has an emotional calming effect, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.