Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly effective for overuse injuries and tears in muscles. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation by dilatation blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The most beneficial thing is that both forms of therapy can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling while heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you use for your pain? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s look at how cold and heat therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces a numbing effect and reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. There are many effective cold therapy options, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. You should follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. You should not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause the development of hives or ice burns.
Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy is effective to reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. This treatment is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy disorders. Patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only in the initial stages of pain.
Doctors suggest that you apply ice to help reduce swelling and then heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy improves blood flow and also warms muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. To get the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes multiple times per day to get the most effective results.
Depending on the type of injury, cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in alleviating pain. In general, heat is the best treatment for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended for pain that is chronic such as chronic 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, also known as cold therapy is used to ease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for those suffering from severe injuries, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
When used for many health conditions cold therapy can reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission through the brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the duration recommended as with heat therapy. Prolonged cold exposure can cause the development of hives or ice burns.
While both heat and cold therapy have benefits however, they have distinct side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for injuries that are acute which result from diminished blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer making it a great choice for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.