John Muir Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. 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. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling and inflammation, while the warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially efficient in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to ease your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has a numbing effect and reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. There are many effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold pack. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can result in ice burns and hives.

Swelling is reduced
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has some limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying this treatment. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the most effective relief. For best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which is more efficient. The majority of people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to ease the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. It is recommended to use cold therapy for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health conditions. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. Exposure to cold for too long may cause ice burns or hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have advantages, but they have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from lower blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer making it a great choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.