Steven Gershon Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears to muscles. It also reduces the pain and inflammation by dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. It also helps with chronic joint pain. The greatest thing is that both kinds of therapy can be used in conjunction!

Inflammation is reduced
In comparison to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected area. The cold therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while the heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints heating therapy is particularly effective in pain management. Which one of the therapies should you choose to ease your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Also, be sure to read our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how cold and heat therapy interact.

Ice therapy is effective in reducing inflammation as well as swelling. It also has a numbing effect and reduces the brain’s signals for pain. There are a variety of effective cold therapy optionsavailable, including the use of ice baths, homemade packs, and a chemical cold packs. You should follow the same protocol as heat therapy and limit cold exposure. You should not leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 mins as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, there are certain limitations. This therapy is not recommended for patients suffering from chronic injuries. Additionally, cold therapy should not be applied on open wounds and is not recommended for patients who suffer from neuropathic or circulatory issues. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy should be utilized only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, then applying heat to ease discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and helps warm muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy however, slows blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the most effective relief. For better results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15 minutes at least once a day.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more effective in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for pain that is chronic such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there isn’t a strict and unchanging rule of thumb on which is more effective. Cold therapy is beneficial to the majority of people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. In particular, it numbs the muscles that are painful and reduces nerve activity. It also reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women and children. Cold therapy is a better option to treat injuries that cause extreme pain because it causes the body to react differently to heat.

Inflammation is lessened
Cold therapy can be used to treat various health ailments. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels in muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. It also decreases the transmission of pain signals by your brain. There are two types of cold therapy such as homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Exposure to cold for too long could cause ice burns or hives.

Both cold and heat therapy have advantages, but both have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries which result from lower blood flow. The heat therapy improves blood flow and reduces inflammation, swelling, and improves circulation. It can also provide psychological calming effects, making it a good option for pain management that is ongoing. Cold therapy is not as effective in long-term pain management.