Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the area that is injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling and heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. But what treatment is best to relieve your discomfort? Here are some helpful suggestions. And, make sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in the skin to burn and cause hives.
Although cold therapy can help reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This treatment should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of the pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to lessen swelling and then heat to ease pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. For the best results cold therapy should be applied for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best option for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised for pain that is chronic or has been causing joint pain. However, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to ease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce the damage to tissues by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for those suffering from extreme pain due to an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
When applied to many health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended as with heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long may lead to ice burns and hives.
While both heat and cold therapy have benefits but they have distinct side effects. Injuries that are acute are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on those suffering, making it an ideal choice for pain management that is ongoing. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.