Heat or cold: What helps pain?

The positive effect of heat and cold on the body has been used for centuries by the people: The so-called thermal therapy with cold packs and hot water bottles can easily be applied at home. But what helps, what are the complaints?

Kälte against swelling

In the case of injuries associated with swelling and pain, is advised as children to cool with water or with a cloth-wrapped cold bag from the freezer. "Due to the cold stimulus, the blood constricts the vessels and reduces the swelling. In addition, the cold relieves pain, because the forwarding of the stimulus because of the cold, slow abläuft", Nadja Dörr, a pharmacist at the health insurance company Barmer declared. Not without reason, cold sprays include, for example, for initial treatment of injuries in footballers on the pitch.

When Cool, the expert advises to do in between breaks, if the skin feels very cool, and cool only when it has warmed up again. In the cooling breaks, you can try to move to the appropriate place, because this helps tissue fluid transport, and to reduce the risk of swelling.

Refrigeration is also used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, for example, in patients with rheumatoid Arthritis or psoriasis. In these cases, the cold is applied locally on the skin but the entire body is exposed to several minutes of very low temperatures. "Special cold chambers with temperatures of up to minus 110 degrees cause in the body are less inflammatory substances are released. This joint pain and itching can be attenuated werden", Dörr explains. The effect was not, however, permanently, the therapy is only symptomatic and not curative.

In the own four walls you can do to help the circulatory System with hot and cold showers on the jumps. Also Kneipp cures have their permission, because they stimulate the circulation, the veins will be trained and the lymph drainage is promoted. The benefit of for example patients with high blood pressure. Who suffers from circulatory disorders, such as occur, for example, in the case of diabetics often draws in advance on the best his doctor.

Wärme tension and Kräfight

Heat is primarily used to release muscle tension, spasms and to increase blood flow. Due to the warm temperatures, the blood dilate vessels and the tissue can be better supplied with nutrients and oxygen, at the same time metabolism are transported products.

For at-home use, especially hot water bottles, which are filled with 60 to 70 degree hot water, in the oven or the microwave grains cushion heated, or red light lamps used. Alternatively, heat can be ointments or patches from the pharmacy. By the applied heat to relax the muscles and reduce pain.


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