Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five working days. This therapy is especially effective for overuse injuries and muscle tears. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its soothing effects on joints. But what treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapy techniques include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Similar to heating therapy, it is essential to adhere to the right 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 result in the skin to burn and cause hives.
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not use this treatment. In addition, cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Moreover, patients who suffer from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied on the affected areas only in the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. Heating therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area in a thin towel. For best results cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day.
Based on the type of injury, heat or cold therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. It is usually the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t any one solution that is right or wrong. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. It is not suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for those suffering from intense pain from an injury.
When it is used for various health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, thereby reducing blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended duration, just like heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long can result in ice burns as well as hives.
Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages but they have distinct negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute caused by lower blood flow. Heating therapy can increase blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects which makes it a great option for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.