Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When used appropriately, a combination of hot and cold therapies can ease pain for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and overuse injuries. The cold therapy can also lessen the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. It also helps with joint pain that is chronic. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is lessened
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in managing pain due to its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to alleviate your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. Ice therapy can also help reduce inflammation and swelling. It also can cause the sensation of numbness that slows down the brain’s pain signals. There are numerous effective cold therapy options, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold packs. You should follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause irritation and hives.
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not use this method. Cold therapy should not be used on open injuries and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from infections must consult their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to relieve pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you begin your exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area in a towel to provide the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day for the best results.
Depending on the nature of injury, cold or heat therapy is most effective for alleviating pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, like long-term joint pain. There isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial for many people who suffer from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It reduces muscle numbness and nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently to heat, it is recommended for people who are experiencing severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is lessened
When used for various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. The use of cold therapy should be only for the recommended time similar to heat therapy. Exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as hives.
Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but they also have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries which result from decreased blood flow. Heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer making it a good choice for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.