Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy may provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. Cold therapy also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area that has been injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly effective in pain management because of its soothing effects on the joints. But what method should you select to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure you check out our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy also helps reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Similar to heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause burns and hives.
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, it has some limitations. This treatment should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Also, cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior applying this treatment. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. For best results cold therapy must be used for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.
Depending on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy is most effective for relieving pain. For acute pain, like muscles strains it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t any exact and definite rule for which is more effective. Many people suffering from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce 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 also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone including pregnant women. Cold therapy is more beneficial for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
When used for various health issues cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which reduces the flow of blood. In addition, cold therapy can reduce pain signal transmission by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. In the event of prolonged exposure to cold, it can lead to ice burns or hives.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by decreased blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect and is a good option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.