Dr Papp Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears in muscles. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain by dilatation 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 great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially effective in pain management because of its soothing effects on joints. Which treatment should you select to alleviate your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which reduces pain signals to the brain. There are many effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the appropriate procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause irritation and hives.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be used for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients with infections should consult their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling, and then apply heat to ease pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When it is used for various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time as with heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long may result in ice burns and the development of hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they have side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.