Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. Cold therapy decreases pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It helps speed up the flow of blood to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used together!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at decreasing blood flow and inflammation to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially effective in pain management. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Make sure you check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the correct protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for longer than 20 mins as it could result in Hives or ice burns.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. It should not be used on those suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used on open injuries and should not be recommended for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients suffering from ailments should consult with their physician prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the initial stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to decrease swelling, and then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy increases blood flow and also warms muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the affected area with a towel to provide the best relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15-20 minutes, alternating between each day for the best results.
Depending on the kind of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for decreasing pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain such as chronic joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. The majority of people suffering from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those suffering from severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
When applied to various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended similar to heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause ice burns or hives.
Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but they also have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to decreased blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It can also provide a psychological calming effect and is a good option for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.