Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears to muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part 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 and inflammation, while the warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to alleviate your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has a numbing effect and slows down pain signals to the brain. There are numerous effective cold therapy options, such as ice baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold packs. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to follow the proper protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause ice burns and hives.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not be using this method. Also cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for people who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Furthermore, patients who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior using this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a soft towel. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective method for alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to ease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t suitable for all people, especially children and pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing extreme pain due to an injury.
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in ice burns or hives.
While both cold and heat therapy have advantages, they have different side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on the sufferer which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.