St Elizabeth Hospital Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If done correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can ease pain for up to five working 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. In turn, it increases the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also help with chronic joint pain. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Reduces inflammation
As opposed to heat therapy cold therapy reduces inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy decreases swelling and heat therapy improves blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. What treatment is best to relieve your pain? Here are some ideas. Also, be sure to read our chart of helpful information. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also creates an numbing effect that reduces pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths, homemade ice packs, and cold packs made of chemicals. It is important to follow the same procedure as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for more than 20 mins as it could result in ice burns or hives.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not utilize this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be considered for those suffering from circulatory or neuropathy-related conditions. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult their doctor before applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the areas affected at the beginning of pain.

Doctors recommend that you first apply ice to decrease swelling and then use heat to ease pain. The heat therapy improves blood flow and warms muscles prior to you can start your workout. Cold therapy, on the other hand, decreases blood flow and reduces swelling. Wrap the affected area with a towel to give the most effective relief. The use of cold therapy should be done for at least 15-20 minutes, alternating between each day to get the most effective results.

Reduces pain
It’s dependent on the type and extent of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best option for pain that is acute, like a muscle sprain, and cold therapy is advised for chronic pain or has been causing joint pain. There is no correct or incorrect treatment. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is used to reduce discomfort caused by inflammation as well as swelling. It helps reduce tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not suitable for certain people especially pregnant women. It is recommended to use cold therapy for injuries that cause severe pain, as it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy is a method to treat a variety health conditions. It lowers inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which slows down the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission through your brain. Cold therapy techniques include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended duration. Prolonged cold exposure can cause the development of hives or ice burns.

Both cold and hot therapy have advantages, but they also have adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated with cold therapy due to the reduced blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduce inflammation and swelling by enhancing circulation. It also has an emotional calming effect which makes it a great option for pain management that is ongoing. However, cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.