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Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly effective for muscle tears and injuries sustained from overuse. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The most appealing thing is that both kinds of therapy can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. What treatment is best for your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and slows down the brain’s signals for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. It is recommended to follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 minutes as this can cause ice burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor before using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease pain. Heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy, on the other side, reduces blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with towels to provide the best relief. For better results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and extent of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no one right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease 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 swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.

Inflammation is lessened
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health ailments. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration, just like heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long may result in ice burns and itching.

While both heat and cold therapy have benefits, they have different side effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect and is a good option to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.