Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If done correctly, a combination hot and cold therapy can offer relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. It also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. As a result, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Inflammation is reduced
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief due to its calming effects on joints. Which therapy should you choose to relieve your pain? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 mins because this could cause ice burns or hives.
Swelling is lessened
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. Cold therapy should not be used for open injuries and should not be considered for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients with infections should consult with their doctor prior to using cold therapy. The cold therapy should be applied on the affected areas only in the initial stages of the pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles before you begin your exercise. Cold therapy however can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with a towel to give the best relief. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes several times per day to get the most effective results.
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in alleviating pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. However, there is no definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which one is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are injured and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for all people especially pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for severe pain from injuries, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.
Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat a range of health conditions. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases pain signal transmission through your brain. There are two types of cold therapy which include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended duration. If exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns and itching.
Both cold and warm therapy have their advantages, but they also have side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by lower blood flow. Heating therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It also has a psychological calming effect which makes it a great option to manage chronic pain. However cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain relief.