Summit Medical Group Pain Management

Pain Management Using Cold and Heat

If used correctly the combination of hot and cold therapy can offer relief for three to five working days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle tears and injuries from overuse. Cold therapy also reduces inflammation and pain through dilation of blood vessels. It improves blood flow to the area injured. It also helps with joint pain that is chronic. The best part is that both forms of therapy can be used together!

Inflammation is reduced
Compared to heat therapy, cold therapy decreases inflammation and blood flow to the affected region. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Because of its calming effects on joints, heat therapy is particularly effective in managing pain. Which treatment should you select to alleviate your pain? Here are some suggestions. And, make sure to look over our helpful chart. Let’s discuss how heat and cold therapy interact.

Ice therapy can be extremely efficient in reducing inflammation and swelling. It also produces an numbing effect that slows down the brain’s signaling for pain. There are numerous effective cold therapies available, such as cold baths, homemade cold packs, and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, it is important to adhere to the right protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for longer than 20 mins as it could result in the development of hives or ice burns.

Reduces swelling
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, it has certain limitations. People suffering from chronic injuries should not use this treatment. Cold therapy should not be applied to open wounds and should not be considered for patients suffering from circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Patients suffering from infections should consult with their physician prior to applying this therapy. Cold therapy should be used only on the affected areas at the beginning of pain.

In general, doctors suggest applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you start your activity. Cold therapy however reduces blood flow and decreases swelling and pain. For the most effective relief, patients should wrap the affected area with a soft towel. To get the best results, cold therapy should be applied for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Reduces pain
It is contingent on the nature and severity of the injury which treatment is more efficient in relieving pain. Heat is generally the best solution for pain that is acute, such as an injury to the muscle, while cold therapy is recommended for pain that is persistent such as a prolonged joint pain. However, there is no hard and fast rule for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy is used to lessen the pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It helps to reduce the damage to tissues by inhibiting nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by decreasing nerve activity. Cold therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially pregnant women and children. It is recommended to use cold therapy for those suffering from severe injuries because it causes the body to respond differently to heat.

Lowers inflammation
If used to treat various health issues, cold therapy can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. Cold therapy also reduces the transmission of pain signals to your brain. Cold therapy methods include homemade ice packs as well as chemical cold packs. Cold therapy should be used only for the recommended duration similar to heat therapy. Long-term exposure to cold can result in ice burns or hives.

Both cold and hot therapy have advantages, but they also have negative side effects. Cold therapy is more effective in treating acute injuries, which are due to diminished blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling by improving circulation. It also has a calming psychological effect on the sufferer, making it a good choice to manage chronic pain. However, cold therapy is not as efficient for long-term pain management.