Heat and Ice for Pain
There are so many different causes of pain that it is sometimes impossible to know where to begin. Sometimes pain can be the direct result of a hormonal imbalance, such as, the physical pains and twinges a woman may feel before or after her period.
Oftentimes pain is physical, caused by an obvious source such as an injury or wound. Still, there are some scenarios that are less black and white. People may wake up with pain, begin to experience pain due to stress, or have a pain that is completely inexplicable.
The best treatment for pain is also one of the oldest: temperature. When applied to the painful area, both heat and cold can help reduce soreness, throbbing, and other discomforts.
The Simple Option
It has become more and more common for doctors to prescribe medication for pain and discomfort when drugs may not always be needed. Initially medication can alleviate the pain for some time, but it is not always a permanent fix. Not to mention the fact that many prescription medications are addictive and have side effects.
Heat and ice can help pain in a number of therapeutic ways. Not only are heat and ice simple, they’re also an inexpensive treatment that can be used again and again without breaking the bank or harming your body.
Therapeutic Benefits of Heat
Heat actively helps to sooth stiff joints and muscles while helping you relax. Many people find that they need a hot bath or shower after a long stressful day, and this treatment usually always helps. The calming heat helps to release stress and tension bundled in your muscles and tendons in a gentle yet effective way. There are even products available that promote heat therapy such as:
• Electric Heating Pads
• Warm Compresses
• Hot Towels
• A Microwaveable Gel Pack
It is important to wrap the heating pad or compress in a towel, pillowcase, or napkin to ensure that your skin is protected from direct heat exposure.
Therapeutic Benefits of Ice
The cold can be extremely soothing in a number of scenarios. Cold helps to numb pain, reduce inflammation, and cool the body down. Cuts, bruises, and open wounds are best treated with an ice pack because the cold numbs the pain and helps the wounds to heal without the discomfort the healing process sometimes involves. Ice is especially beneficial in the following situations:
• Back Pain
• Acute Joint Pain
• Inflammation in different parts of the body
• Cramps and Menstrual Pain
• Burns, scratches, cuts
Injuries that are swollen or distended are the best candidates for ice therapy, but it is important not to overdo it. Too much cold can have a burning effect, which could causes the pain to worsen and lengthen the healing period.
To create an effective ice pack, you can do the following:
• Use Frozen Pack of Vegetables
• Freeze a Gel Pack
• Use an Ice Pack
• Run a Towel Under Cold Water or Dip in Ice Water
• Massage Skin with Ice
• Suck on Ice to Soothe Mouth Pain from Dental Procedures, Cuts, Bruises, or Other Injuries
It is best to apply a heat or ice pack immediately after injury or when in need. Never apply the pack directly to skin as that can cause burning or even bruising. It is important to take breaks in between treatments in order to give the body a rest. If you struggle with circulation problems, you should ask your doctor before using ice or simply not use it all.
During these treatments it is important to practice other forms of pain therapy. Massages, stretching, gentle exercise, and plenty of sleep are the best way to heal pain and discomfort. Ask your doctor to create a treatment plan that is tailored to you and your symptoms to find relief.