Dr Matthew Leyton Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain due to its soothing effects on joints. What therapy should you pick to ease pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. Cold therapy should not be applied to open wounds and should not be used for those with circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Moreover, patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to help reduce swelling, and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to you can start your workout. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area in a towel to give the best relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at least 15 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. Heat is generally the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as chronic joint pain. There isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. Many people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is used to reduce the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those who suffer from intense pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health ailments. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended as with heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as itching.

Although both cold and therapy have benefits but they have distinct adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries caused by decreased blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also have psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.