Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both types of therapy can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing 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 calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. Which treatment is best for your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, you should follow the proper procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in ice burns and hives.
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This method is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be considered for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy, on other hand, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a soft towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15 minutes multiple times per day to obtain the best results.
Based on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective way of alleviating 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 isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy can be used to treat a range of health ailments. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. In addition, cold therapy can reduce pain signal transmission by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the duration recommended, just like heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as itching.
Both cold and heat therapy have their advantages, but they also have negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by reduced blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.