Journal Of Pain Management And Medicine

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Also, it reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. This stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain due to its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to ease pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. You should follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause irritation and hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This method should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their physician prior applying this therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas that are affected in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease discomfort. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on the other hand can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. For better results cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy is most effective for alleviating 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 one solution that is right or wrong. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and reduces nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
When used for a variety of health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and hives.

Although both cold and therapy have their benefits but they have distinct side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer, which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.