Novartis Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or muscle tears. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both kinds of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. But what treatment should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has a numbing effect and slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. There are many effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause irritation and hives.

Swelling is lessened
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy is not recommended for open wounds and should not be suggested for those with circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy, on the other hand reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with a towel to provide the most effective relief. For better results cold therapy must be applied for at least 15 minutes a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy is the most effective way of alleviating pain. For acute pain, like an injury to a muscle heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no correct or incorrect treatment. The majority of people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for all people especially pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. The cold therapy helps reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended like heat therapy. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits, they have different adverse effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also have psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.