Scott & White Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

When used appropriately If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can provide relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and muscle tears. The cold therapy can also lessen 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 is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially effective in pain management due to its soothing effects on the joints. Which therapy should you use to ease your discomfort? Here are some ideas. And, make sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect, which reduces pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like with the use of heat therapy, you must follow the proper procedure and limit the time of exposure to cold. Don’t leave the ice pack on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can cause burns and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it comes with certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open wounds and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy issues. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be applied to the affected areas only in the beginning stages of the pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heat therapy boosts blood flow and warms muscles prior to you start your activity. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a thin towel. For the best results cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy is most effective for reducing pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain, heat is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended for chronic pain, such long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to decrease pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the sore muscle tissue and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for some individuals particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is best for those suffering from a severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
When applied to a variety of health conditions, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission via the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long could cause ice burns or hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have their advantages, but they also have negative side effects. Acute injuries are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow, reduces swelling, inflammation, and improves circulation. It also has a psychologically relaxing effect on the sufferer, making it an ideal choice for pain management in chronic situations. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain management.