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 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. This promotes a faster blood flow to the area that is injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!
Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy lessens swelling and warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief due to its soothing effects on joints. But what therapy should you use to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure you check out our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy can work together.
Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. Ice therapy can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also produce an numbing effect that can slow down the brain’s pain signals. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Similar to heat therapy, you should follow the proper procedure and limit the amount of exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes since this can lead to burns and hives.
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This method should not be utilized on patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor prior to 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 first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and helps warm muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area in a thin towel. For the best results cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times per day.
It’s based on the type and degree of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain it is recommended to use heat as the most effective treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. However, there is no strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Most people who suffer from joint pain can benefit from cold therapy.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from extreme pain due to an injury.
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which can reduce blood flow. Moreover, cold therapy lowers pain signal transmission through the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration as with heat therapy. Being exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns as well as itching.
Both heat and cold therapy have advantages, but they have negative side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy because of the reduced blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect on those suffering, making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.