Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When used appropriately when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and muscle tears. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly efficient in managing pain. Which treatment should you choose for your pain? Here are some ideas. Be sure to check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates the sensation of numbness and reduces the brain’s signals for pain. There are many effective cold therapy options, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold packs. It is recommended to follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 mins as this can lead to ice burns or hives.
Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has some limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not use this treatment. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to using cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and also warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in towels to provide the best relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.
Depending on the kind of injury, heat or cold therapy is the most effective method for decreasing pain. It is usually the best solution for pain that is acute, such as a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised for chronic pain such as chronic joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
If used to treat various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. In addition, cold therapy can reduce pain signal transmission via the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause Hives or ice burns.
Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but they also have side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological impact on the patient, which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.