Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy may provide relief for three to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and muscle tears. The cold therapy can also lessen inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It promotes faster blood flow to the area injured. Additionally, it can ease chronic joint pain. The best part about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which one of the therapies should you choose to alleviate your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Also, be sure to check out our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy is effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It also can cause an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Like with heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the appropriate procedure and limit the time of cold exposure. Don’t leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 mins as this can result in burns and hives.
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not use this method. Also cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients with infections should consult their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the early stages of the pain.
Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to reduce swelling and then heat to ease discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can begin your activity. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a light towel. For the best results cold therapy must be applied for at least 15 minutes at least once a day.
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t a single best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. Particularly, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. It is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is better for injuries that cause severe pain because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.
When applied to various health issues cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. In addition, cold therapy can reduce the transmission of pain signals by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. If exposed to cold for too long may lead to ice burns and the development of hives.
Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the lower blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It can also have psychological effects that calm which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.