Southeast Pain Management Center

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used, a combination hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five days. This therapy is particularly efficient for muscle tears and overuse injuries. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. It increases the flow of blood to the area injured. It can also aid in treating chronic joint pain. The great thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!

Reduces inflammation
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief due to its calming effects on joints. But which therapy should you use for your discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Take a look at our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates a numbing effect and slows down pain signals to the brain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy options, including cold baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold pack. It is recommended to follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. Do not leave the ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes as this can cause irritation and hives.

Swelling is reduced
Although cold therapy can reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. It should not be used on patients with chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on wounds that are open and is not recommended for people suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Patients with illnesses should consult their physician before applying cold therapy. Cold therapy should be applied only on the areas affected in the early stages of pain.

Doctors recommend that you apply ice to lessen swelling and then heat to ease pain. Heating therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to activity. Cold therapy, on the other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to provide the most effective relief. It is recommended to use cold therapy for at least 15 minutes several times per day to obtain the best results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best alternative for pain that’s acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is recommended when pain is chronic or has been causing joint pain. However, there isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for those suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to ease discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. Specifically, it numbs muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. However cold therapy isn’t suitable for all people especially pregnant women. Cold therapy is a better option to treat injuries that cause extreme pain, as it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
When used for various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation by reducing blood vessels in muscles, which decreases blood flow. Furthermore, cold therapy decreases pain signal transmission by the brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Exposure to cold for too long could result in ice burns and hives.

While both heat and cold therapy have advantages but they have distinct negative effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the decreased blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer, making it an ideal choice for chronic pain management. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.