Dr Scott Lin Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the area that is injured. And it can help with chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially efficient in pain management. But what treatment should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates an numbing effect that reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Like with heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the right procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause ice burns and hives.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This method should not be utilized on patients with chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections must consult their physician prior applying this treatment. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease pain. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes at a time to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t any strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation 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 best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy are beneficial However, they come with different adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to lower blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.