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Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and overuse injuries. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. This helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. Additionally, it can ease joint pain that is chronic. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy at the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints it is especially effective in managing pain. But what method should you select to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also trigger an numbing effect that can slow 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 heat therapy, you should adhere to the correct procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. You should not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as it could result in burning or hives.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Also, cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for people with circulatory or neuropathic conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the early stages of the pain.

Doctors suggest that you apply ice to decrease swelling and then apply heat to ease discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the affected area with a towel to provide the best relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at minimum 15 minutes several times per day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for which one is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is used to reduce pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces 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 to heat, it is best for those who are suffering from intense pain from an injury.

Inflammation is reduced
When it is used for various health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. In addition, cold therapy can reduce the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

Although both cold and therapy have their benefits However, they come with different negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer, making it a good choice to manage chronic pain. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.