Southeast Spine Care & Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If properly used the combination of hot and cold therapy can provide relief for up to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This stimulates a greater 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
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy when it comes to the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling, while the heat therapy boosts blood flow and pulls in more nutrients. Heat therapy is especially effective in pain management due to its calming effects on joints. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease discomfort? Here are some suggestions. Also, be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s explore how heat and cold therapy can work together.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces the brain’s signaling for pain. Some effective cold therapy methods include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. It is not recommended to leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 mins as this can lead to the development of hives or ice burns.

Swelling is decreased
While cold therapy can be effective in helping reduce swelling, it does have certain limitations. This method should not be used on people who have suffered from chronic injuries. In addition cold therapy should not be used on wounds that are open and is not recommended for patients suffering from neuropathic or circulatory conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to using this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas that are affected in the early stages of pain.

In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The use of heat increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy however slows blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with towels to provide the most effective relief. Cold therapy should be used for at least 15 minutes, alternating between each day to achieve the best results.

Reduces pain
Based on the type of injury, either cold or heat therapy can be the most effective in reducing pain. For acute pain, like the result of a muscle strain heating is the best treatment. Cold therapy is suggested to treat chronic pain, for instance long-term joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It reduces tissue damage by blocking nerve activity. It numbs muscles , and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for everyone particularly pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to respond differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.

Lowers inflammation
Cold therapy can be used to treat a variety of health ailments. It reduces inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in muscles, which restricts the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces the transmission of pain signals by your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. As with heat therapy, cold therapy should be restricted to the recommended time frame. Exposed to cold for too long could result in ice burns and hives.

Although both cold and heat therapy are beneficial however, they have distinct adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer making it a good choice for pain management in chronic situations. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain relief.