Dr Michael Sabia Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used If done correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy can reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. This increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints it is especially effective in pain management. But which method should you select to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy can also help reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also create a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, including ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Just like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas that are affected in the initial stages of 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 begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. For better results cold therapy should be applied for at least 15 minutes a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy is most effective for relieving pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t any exact and definite rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals particularly pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects and is a good option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.