Patients Chronic pain
Topic of the discussion
Posted on 26/02/2019 12:15
Thanks to its relaxing effect, heat is very useful against muscle contractures or cramps. Cold is beneficial on a sprain or strain to avoid swelling of the joint.
Have you ever heard of thermotherapy? It is the act of applying hot and cold to treat the ailments of the patient. Far from being grandmother's remedy, their effects on pain are well documented. Their effectiveness, although moderate and transitory, can provide many services.
Cold, an ally against pain?
Cold is an ally against pain. Its anti-inflammatory action relieves acute pain in the event of trauma or osteoarthritis outbreaks, for example. Scientific studies show that it causes a decrease in the body's production of inflammatory molecules such as cytokines or prostaglandins. It also slows down the conduction rate of nerve fibres, and therefore also has an anaesthetic action. In fact, who has not applied ice cubes after a violent impact, a sprain, a sprain, a bruise?
"In case of acute pain, packs left in the freezer or ice cubes in a cloth provide relief. Even a bag of frozen peas will do," explains Professor Didier Bouhassira, from the pain assessment and treatment centre at Ambroise-Paré Hospital. Doctors also use it. After a knee replacement, they recommend, for example, applying cold every day. In sports, cold is often used to treat injuries. But all this is very empirical, and the relief is often modest and short-lived.
The promise of extreme cold
Perhaps that's why some people rely on the extreme cold. For about fifteen years, cryotherapy cabins have appeared in France. They consist in immersing oneself, whole body and practically naked, in an environment at - 100, - 110 °C for two to three minutes. Thermal shock is said to help with physical recovery, especially for athletes. But others try to relieve pain such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lumbar pain or fibromyalgia. "Here again, it's very empirical", admits Didier Bouhassira. "Thermal shock would slow down the nervous system and pain transmission, but the benefit is not proven, and the centres that offer this therapy are a little esoteric!"
Heat to ease tensions
In contrast to cold, heat has a relaxing effect that induces muscle relaxation and promotes tissue elasticity. This effect is related to vasodilation, which improves blood circulation. The heat, the second ally against pain, is used in case of tissue contractures and tensions (stiff neck, aches, menstrual pain, etc.) in the form of a hot shower, hot-water bottle or compress saturatedwith hot water. Physiotherapists use infrared lamps to apply a hot spring and adjust its intensity according to the pain.
Beware of adverse reactions
"Thermotherapy can reduce the use of painkillers and provide some benefit. But it is not without side effects with the risk of burns, either from the hot or the cold. Never apply ice cubes directly to the skin, and be careful when handling hot water," warns Professor Serge Perrot, President of the Société française d'étude et de traitement de la douleur. The application of heat is also not recommended in cases of venous insufficiency and skin disorders.
And what are your remedies for pain?
Beginning of the discussion - 26/02/2019Relieve pain with hot or cold https://www.carenity.co.uk/forum/chronic-pain/treatments-for-chronic-pain/relieve-pain-with-hot-or-cold-2745
Posted on 26/02/2019 17:44
When I used to play rugby I regularly use ice on my knees after a rough game. It helps a lot.
Posted on 05/03/2019 17:40
Do any other members use hot or cold to treat pain?
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Posted on 05/03/2019 17:53
I use the cold gel, have tried the hot and it was no good
Posted on 05/03/2019 22:23
Cold is only usually needed after an initial injury so I use heat every time Heat pads Hot water bottles Microwave cushions etc
Posted on 06/03/2019 12:03
@fern67 @Suzhannah Thank you for sharing :) Have any members tried "Tiger balm"? It is used a lot in Asian countries and has a heating effect that is supposed to work very well.
Posted on 06/03/2019 13:00
@JosephineO Yes tiger balm Also here in Ireland my doctor prescribed a capsum or capsicum cream that is very warm Probably made from chili's as instructions to avoid eyes n mouth n fully wash hands
Posted on 09/03/2019 11:22
I used ice packs on my knee when i had my knee replacment. heaven oh the relief
Posted on 09/03/2019 16:31
I was diagnosed with Osteopenia of the hip and Osteoporosis of the spine in November, 2018... No pain killers help at this stage. I've found using a hot water bottle relieves the pain in my lower back at times, but again mainly at night whilst relaxing. The doctor won't prescribe pain killers; only paracetamol which doesn't help.
Posted on 11/03/2019 09:45
I also got my widsdom teeth removed before and I practically had a bag of peas strapped to my face for days! It really helps.