Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. The cold therapy helps reduce the pain and inflammation through dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while the heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some ideas. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces 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. You should follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause ice burns and hives.
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this treatment. In addition, cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Moreover, patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior using this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas that are affected in the beginning stages of pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to lessen swelling, and then apply heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. For better results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as the result of a muscle strain and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. However, there is no strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which one is more effective. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone including pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond 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 pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause an increase in hives or iceburns.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries caused by reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has psychological effects that calm making it a suitable option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.