New York Center For Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. This promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling and inflammation, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly effective in pain management because of its soothing effects on the joints. But what treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some tips. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also produces the sensation of numbness and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heating therapy, it is essential to follow the proper protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause burning or hives.

Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This treatment should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be suggested for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, 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. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. For the best results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no one best or worst treatment. Many people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.

The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. There are two types of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration as with heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long can cause ice burns or itching.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they also have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries, which are due to diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also provide an emotional calming effect making it a suitable option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.