Dr Spinks Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also aid in treating 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 in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. But which treatment should you choose for your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. There are numerous effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including cold baths, homemade packs, and a 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 effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This treatment should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied on the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on the other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area in towels to provide the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It depends on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. The majority of people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.

Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but they have negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by reduced blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It can also provide an emotional calming effect and is a good option for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.