Scripps Clinic Pain Management Doctors

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized, a combination of hot and cold treatments can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries sustained over time and tears in muscles. Also, it reduces the pain and inflammation 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 best part about both therapies is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy lessens swelling and warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. It is especially beneficial in pain relief due to its soothing effects on joints. Which treatment should you select to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our chart for help. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also trigger an numbing effect, which slows down the brain’s pain signals. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, such as the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and chemical cold pack. You should follow the same procedures as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes because this could cause irritation and hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Cold therapy should not be used on open wounds and should not be suggested for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult their physician prior applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas in the beginning stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to decrease swelling and then use heat to ease pain. The use of heat increases blood flow and helps warm muscles prior activities. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a soft towel. For best results cold therapy must be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It’s based on the type and severity of the injury, which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. For acute pain, such as a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is recommended to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There isn’t any one correct or incorrect treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It decreases swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not suitable for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently to heat, it is best for those who suffer from extreme pain due to an injury.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat various health conditions. It lowers inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. In addition, cold therapy can reduce pain signal transmission by the brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the time period recommended, just like heat therapy. A prolonged exposure to cold may cause ice burns or hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have negative effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries caused by reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has psychological effects that calm which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy isn’t as effective for long-term pain management.