Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the area that is injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The most appealing thing is that both forms of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which treatment should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. And, make sure to look over our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be very efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has an numbing effect, which reduces pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Just like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes since this can lead to irritation and hives.
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not be using this treatment. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.
Doctors recommend that you apply ice to help reduce swelling and then heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior activities. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.
It’s based on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best alternative for pain that’s acute, such as an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial to many people who suffer from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing a severe pain from an injury.
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in Hives or ice burns.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming impact on the patient, making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.