Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used If done correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is especially efficient for injuries that have been sustained from overuse or muscle tears. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This helps to increase the flow of blood to the injured area. It also helps with joint pain that is chronic. The greatest thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly efficient in pain management because of its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins since this can lead to ice burns and hives.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Additionally, those suffering from infections must consult their doctor before applying this therapy. 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 relieve pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a light towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving 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 chronic such as chronic joint pain. There is no solution that is right or wrong. Many people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who are suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety of health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals 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 time period recommended as with heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in ice burns or hives.
Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but both have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries which result from lower blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also provide a psychological calming effect and is a good option for chronic pain management. Cold therapy isn’t as effective in long-term pain management.