Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The most appealing thing is that both kinds of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially efficient in pain management because of its soothing effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates the sensation of numbness and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct procedure and limit the amount of cold exposure. You should not leave the cold pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can lead to Hives or ice burns.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. It should not be used on those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open injuries and should not be recommended for those with circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients with illnesses should consult their physician prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas that are affected in the beginning stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with towels to provide the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to get the most effective results.
Depending on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy is the most effective method for reducing pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is chronic or has been causing joint pain. There isn’t any definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration, just like heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause an increase in hives or iceburns.
Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages but they have distinct side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychologically calming impact on the patient, making it a good choice for chronic pain management. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.