Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When used appropriately when used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears to muscles. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also help with joint pain that is chronic. The greatest thing is that both forms of therapy can be used together!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy lessens swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly efficient in pain management. Which treatment is best to ease your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s examine how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy is effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates a numbing effect and reduces the brain’s signals for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapies available, such as ice baths, homemade cold packs, and a chemical cold pack. Follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for more than 20 minutes as this can lead to burning or hives.
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not use this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open wounds and should not be used for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. The use of cold therapy should be done only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.
Doctors suggest that you first apply ice to reduce swelling and then apply heat to relieve discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior activities. Cold therapy however can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a soft towel. For the best results cold therapy should be applied for a minimum of 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Depending on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy is the most effective way of alleviating pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It reduces the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for some individuals, especially children and pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety health ailments. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Exposed to cold for too long can lead to ice burns and the development of hives.
Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, however, they can also cause adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from decreased blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer making it an ideal choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain control.