Non Pharmacological Pain Management Guidelines

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both types of therapy can be used together!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. What treatment should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that reduces pain signals to the brain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, including ice baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold pack. You should follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this treatment. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a light towel. For better results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t a single right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for everyone including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those suffering from a severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.

While both heat and cold therapy are beneficial however, they have distinct adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.