Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears in muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. But which therapy should you use for your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has a numbing effect and slows down messages to the brain that signal pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold pack. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes since this can lead to ice burns and hives.
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, it has some limitations. This therapy should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for people suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients with illnesses should consult their physician before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with an apron to provide the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day for the best results.
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy is most effective for relieving pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. However, there is no exact and definite rule for which is more efficient. The majority of people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
If used to treat various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission by your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. If exposed to cold for too long can cause ice burns or itching.
Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits However, they come with different adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries that result from reduced blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically calming effect on those suffering, making it a good choice for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.