Nyu Langone Medical Center Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five working days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints it is especially efficient in managing pain. But what treatment is best for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Make sure to look over our chart of helpful information. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also help reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also trigger an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are some limitations. This method is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Furthermore, patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you begin your exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in an apron to provide the most effective relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective way of relieving pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which is more effective. The majority of people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to decrease inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission via the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.

Both cold and warm therapy have advantages, but both have negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer, making it an ideal choice for chronic pain management. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.