Dr Neil Soni Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and overuse injuries. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. It can also help with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both kinds of therapy can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which therapy should you choose to alleviate your discomfort? Here are some tips. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has a numbing effect and slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including cold baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold packs. Like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can lead to burning or hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not be using this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Moreover, patients who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before using this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the area affected with a towel to provide the best relief. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy is the most effective method for decreasing pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to lessen discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
When used for a variety of health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.

Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages but they have distinct negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute, which are due to diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.