Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and injuries from overuse. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. And it can help with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially efficient in managing pain because of its calming effects on joints. Which treatment should you choose for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Make sure to check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also produces an numbing effect that reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in irritation and hives.
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for people who have suffered from chronic injuries. Also cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic and circulatory disorders. Patients suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin 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 nature of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for relieving pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. There isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. Most people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to react differently to heat.
If used to treat many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission through the brain. There are two types of cold therapy that can be used: homemade ice packs or chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended as with heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long may lead to ice burns and itching.
Although both cold and therapy have their benefits However, they come with different 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 reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has a psychologically calming impact on the patient, making it an ideal choice for chronic pain management. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.