Dr Merck Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and overuse injuries. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area that is injured. And it can help with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in managing pain. What treatment should you choose for your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. You should not leave the cold pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. Additionally cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to lessen swelling and then heat to ease discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the most effective relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15-20 minutes, alternating between each day to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. In general, heat is the best solution for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised for chronic pain such as chronic joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those suffering from a severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety of health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your 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 duration recommended like heat therapy. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

While both cold and heat therapy are beneficial, they have different side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from lower blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.