Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy reduces pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. This increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both kinds of therapy can be used together!
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially efficient in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to alleviate your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure you check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. It is recommended to follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause irritation and hives.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This method should not be utilized on patients with chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for people suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before applying this therapy. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in a towel to give the best relief. For best results cold therapy must be applied for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day.
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury, which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. It is usually the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic, like a long-standing joint pain. There is no best or worst treatment. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is used to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals particularly pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.
Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. There are two types of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration as with heat therapy. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause the development of hives or ice burns.
Although both cold and therapy have advantages, they have different side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute that result from decreased blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on the sufferer, making it an ideal choice for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.