Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and muscle tears. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both types of therapy can be used together!
Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in pain management due to its soothing effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates the sensation of numbness and reduces pain signals to the brain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Just like with heating therapy, it is essential to follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause ice burns or hives.
While cold therapy can help reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for patients with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy, on other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area in a thin towel. To get the best results cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.
It depends on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic or has been causing joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
The practice of cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy is used to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for those suffering from intense pain from an injury.
If used to treat various health issues cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as hives.
While both heat and cold therapy have benefits however, they have distinct negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It can also have an emotional calming effect, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.