Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area that is injured. And it can help with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both kinds of therapy can be used together!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces the sensation of numbness and slows down pain signals to the brain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes as this can result in burns and hives.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This treatment should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be applied to open injuries and should not be suggested for those with circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to give the best relief. For better results cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15 minutes at least once a day.
Depending on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like an injury to a muscle and strain, heat therapy is the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen the pain and inflammation caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone, especially children and pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a range of health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals to your 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, just like heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and hives.
Both cold and warm therapy have advantages, but they have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries which result from reduced blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects and is a good option for chronic pain management. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.