Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and tears to muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. But what treatment should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are numerous effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold packs. Just like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the appropriate procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes since this can lead to the skin to burn and cause hives.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be recommended for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before using this therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. For better results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times per day.
Based on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for reducing pain. For acute pain, such as an injury to a muscle it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. It is not suitable for everyone, particularly 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.
When it is used for various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time, just like heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in ice burns or hives.
Although both cold and heat therapy are beneficial but they have distinct side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.