Shands Jacksonville Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly utilized When used properly, a combination and cold therapies can provide relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and muscle tears. Also, it reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. As a result, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both kinds of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to reducing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, while the heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially beneficial in pain relief because of its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Be sure you check out our helpful chart. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has the sensation of numbness and slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and chemical cold packs. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on the skin for more than 20 minutes because this could cause the skin to burn and cause hives.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It is not recommended for those suffering from chronic injuries. Additionally cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for individuals suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their doctor prior to using cold therapy. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the areas that are affected in the beginning stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms up muscles prior to exercise. Cold therapy on the other hand reduces blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. To get the most effective relief, patients should cover the affected area with a thin towel. The cold therapy should be utilized for at minimum 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is the most effective method for alleviating pain. For acute pain, like a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested for chronic painsuch as long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is used to reduce the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is more beneficial for severe pain from injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat a variety of health conditions. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the duration recommended like heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as itching.

Both cold and hot therapy have their advantages, but they have adverse effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries, which are due to lower blood flow. Heat therapy aids in increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on those suffering, which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.