Dr O’leary Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or tears to muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both types of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Reduces inflammation
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its soothing effects on joints. But what therapy should you use for your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Be sure you check out our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are many effective cold therapies available, such as ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold pack. It is recommended to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can result in burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients with ailments should consult with their physician before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas that are affected in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with an apron to provide the most effective relief. For the best results cold therapy must be applied for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. For acute pain, such as the result of a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. However, there isn’t a exact and definite rule for which is more efficient. The majority of people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
When applied to many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended time like heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and itching.

Both cold and hot therapy have advantages, but they also have negative effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer, making it an ideal choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.