Jeanes Hospital Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in managing pain. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also help reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also produce an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. There are numerous effective cold therapy options, such as cold baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. It is important to follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are some limitations. It should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Patients with ailments should consult with their physician before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in an apron to provide the best relief. To get the best results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. There is no one solution that is right or wrong. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is better to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health ailments. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause an increase in hives or iceburns.

Although both cold and therapy have benefits, they have different negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to lower blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also have a psychological calming effect which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.