Pain Management Ohsu

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain by dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it stimulates a greater flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
When compared to heat therapy cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while heat therapy boosts blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its soothing effects on the joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some tips. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces the sensation of numbness and 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. As with heat therapy, you should adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause irritation and hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has some limitations. Patients with chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be considered for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients with infections should consult their doctor before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas that are affected in the early stages of pain.

Doctors suggest that you apply ice to decrease swelling and then use heat to relieve pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and helps warm muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day for the best results.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, either cold or heat therapy is most effective for alleviating pain. Heat is generally the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is advised when pain is chronic, like a long-standing joint pain. There isn’t a single correct or incorrect treatment. Most people who suffer from joint pain may benefit from cold therapy.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. It reduces the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy is not suitable for all people particularly pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety of health ailments. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels of muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Moreover, cold therapy lowers the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the time period recommended, just like heat therapy. If exposed to cold for too long may lead to ice burns and hives.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, but both have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries that result from lower blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling and improves circulation. It can also have psychological effects that calm, making it a good option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.