Dr O’hara Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy decreases the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that has been injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both types of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. There are numerous effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold pack. You should follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to ice burns and hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in relieving pain. It is usually the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as chronic joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two types of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Being exposed to cold for too long can result in ice burns and hives.

Although both cold and therapy have benefits, they have different side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer, making it a great choice to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.