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Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used when done correctly, a combination of heat and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and pain through dilatation blood vessels. In turn, it helps to increase the flow of blood to the area that is injured. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy lessens inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its soothing effects on joints the heat therapy is especially efficient in managing pain. What treatment should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some tips. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Ice therapy can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It can also trigger a numbing effect that slows down the brain’s pain signals. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. It is important to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 minutes as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Swelling is reduced
While cold therapy can effectively reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for patients with chronic injuries. In addition, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for those who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Patients with infections should consult their doctor prior to applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy however can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Wrap the affected area with an apron to provide the most effective relief. For better results cold therapy must be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It depends on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as an injury to a muscle, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no one best or worst treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by reducing nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t appropriate for some individuals including pregnant women. Cold therapy is better for severe pain from injuries, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety of health ailments. It reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Additionally, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by the brain. There are two kinds of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used 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 advantages, they have different side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation and improves circulation. It can also have psychological calming effects, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.