Cold or heat against pain?

Cold or heat against pain?

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Who has not suffered a muscle pain or a blow? Cold or hot? What is the best for each case?

Heat and cold are the most common forms of therapy for pain relief. Whether one or the other is used will depend on whether the pain is new or recurrent.

Normally a new lesion causes inflammation and swelling, so you have to apply cold for pain, right after a hit or a fall.

Cold decreases blood flow to the area of ​​injury and thereforerelieves sharp pain sensation and reduces inflammation.

Meanwhile he repeating pain (chronic or recurring) must be heat treated.

Heat brings more blood to the painful area and promotes healing. We will apply heat in the case of muscle or joint pain in which there is no inflammation.

Heat therapy against pain

The heat opens the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to reduce joint pain, relax sore muscles, and improve flexibility of ligaments and tendons.

Heat also decreases muscle spasms and improves the ability to move.

Must be apply heat when there is chronic joint or muscle pain, that is, when it is not associated with a specific trauma.

The heat can be dry or humid. Heat can be applied using an electric blanket, a hot water bottle, gel packs, or with hot water baths. It is important to take some precautions when applying heat such as:

  • It should not be applied too hot, or directly on the skin. It is best to use a thin towel.
  • Do not apply heat for more than 20 minutes.
  • Avoid applying heat if there is swelling. First apply cold, and when the inflammation has disappeared the heat.
  • Heat should not be used if there is poor circulation or diabetes, or if there is an open wound or stitches.

Cold therapy for pain

Cold should be used for 24 to 48 hours after injury, as it slows down the blood flow to the injured area, thereby reducing pain and inflammation, muscle spasm and pain.

Cold therapy is indicated for sprains, strains, bumps, bruises, headaches, and acute gout attacks. It should be used if the area is swollen or bruised.

It should be applied to the injured areas during no more than 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes and reapply again.

The cold alters the sensitivity and can cause burns, so it is important do not place it directly on the skin, and monitor the area every few minutes to check the integrity of the skin.

It can be applied cold using: a bag of frozen food (peas), ice cubes in a bag, frozen gel pack, cold masks to apply to the eyes (very useful to relieve migraines) or using a towel soaked in cold water .

Related Reading:

  • When to apply heat or cold to an injury
  • Top 10 Natural Remedies for Joint Pain
  • Joint pain in women
  • Correct body posture to avoid injury and relieve pain

Video: Ice Therapy for Back Pain (August 2022).