Kettering Pain Management Center

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can offer relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in pain management. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s signals for pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Additionally cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy on the other hand, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with an apron to provide the most effective relief. For the best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, either cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for relieving pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for some individuals especially pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is a method to treat a range of health ailments. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two types of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause Hives or ice burns.

While both cold and heat therapy have benefits but they have distinct negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer making it an ideal choice for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.