Dr Tisdall San Antonio Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. What treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has the sensation of numbness and reduces the brain’s signals for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the right procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause irritation and hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this treatment. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients with illnesses should consult their physician before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you apply ice to reduce swelling and then heat to relieve pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a light towel. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes at a time to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. Many people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is better to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health ailments. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Additionally, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. Long-term exposure to cold can result in Hives or ice burns.

Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits but they have distinct adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute, which are due to diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also have an emotional calming effect which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.