Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The most appealing thing is that both types of therapy can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling while heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some ideas. And, make sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces the sensation of numbness and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of 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.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This method should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. In addition, 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 with their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. For better results treatment, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes a day.
It’s dependent on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. There is no correct or incorrect treatment. Many people suffering from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for those suffering from intense pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
When it is used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Being exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as hives.
While both cold and heat therapy are beneficial, they have different negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute, which are due to reduced blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing impact on the patient, making it a great choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.