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The human body responds well to therapies that use cold and heat. These are called thermal therapies and are often used in conjunction with one another to relieve swelling and reduce pain.
Ice therapy is often used to reduce swelling. Ice causes veins in the treated areas to constrict. This constriction numbs the area to pain. When the cold is removed, blood rushes into the treated area and with it the nutrients necessary for healing.
Benefits of Cryotherapy:
Reduces inflammation and swelling
Minimizes tissue damage
Numbs tissue to pain
Heat therapy is used to increase circulation and relax muscles that often tense and spasm in the presence of pain. Used together and with other therapies, patients often experience pain relief after their first Chiropractic visit.
Heat therapy can be applied in various ways, ranging from simple heating pads to topical analgesics. The doctor will choose the method which best suits the patient's needs.
Benefits of Thermal Therapy:
Increases blood supply to the muscles, allowing them to relax, flex, and heal
Reduces the ability of the treated area to convey the sense of pain to the brain (This is especially important for chronic pain sufferers.)