Pain Management A Problem Based Learning Approach

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief because of its calming effects on joints. Which treatment should you select to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. Just like with heat therapy, you should adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can result in ice burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be suggested for those with circulatory or neuropathy issues. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before using this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes at a time to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as chronic joint pain. There isn’t any exact and definite rule for which one is more effective. Many people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for some individuals especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for people who are experiencing intense pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended, just like heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long can result in ice burns and itching.

Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, but they also have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries that result from diminished blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, making it a great choice to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.