Ostrow Institute For Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. What therapy should you pick to ease discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s see how heat therapy and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also create an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. It is recommended to follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in irritation and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This method should not be used on those suffering from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. For better results cold therapy must be applied for a minimum of 15 minutes a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy can be the most effective in relieving pain. In general, heat is the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised for chronic pain or has been causing joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. It is recommended to use cold therapy for those suffering from severe injuries, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is reduced
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health conditions. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long could lead to ice burns and itching.

Although both cold and heat therapy are beneficial but they have distinct side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries which result from reduced blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing impact on the patient, making it a good choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.