How Cold Water Eases Pain
Cold water eases pain wherever it may occur in your body. It is one of the best ways to deliver a sensation of comfort to the affected region. It could be both internal as well as external pain. While the actual physical reasons for this would need a very extensive elaboration, it can be said to be really effective on the mental plane as cold water is as comforting as any other food or drink can be. When you drink cold water, the signaling system in the body is activated. This signaling activity is what the central nervous system of your body does. The system uses chemicals to accomplish this task of transmitting signals.
How does signal transmission take place
There are various junctions in the central nervous system called chemical synapses. One neurotransmitter comes to the synapse and is then transmitted further. There are trillions of these synapses in the brain. These junctions can exist between two neurons or between a neuron and other type of cell. So what is a neuron? It is a cell that can get activated by both electrical and chemical inputs. They make up the central nervous system of the body which consists of the brain and the spinal cord as well as the peripheral nervous system that reaches out to your arms, legs, eyes and organs. Neurons also get activated through each of the sensory organs such as through touch and through sounds. Neurons that control muscles and glands are called motor neurons.
What is a muscle and what is a gland?
Muscle is a soft tissue. Its functionality is related to the way that we carry ourselves, the way that we move around and the way that internal motion of food and the motion of organs such as the heart is achieved. Glands create substances that are sent into the blood flow. These glands that do their work by sending their outputs into the blood are called endocrine glands. There is another type of gland that sends its output to the surface of the body or to other interior areas of the body. These are called exocrine glands. Motor neurons send the signals that makes muscles contract and that controls the output of glands.
Among the neurotransmitters that carry signals around, there are many types. They include amino acids, gases and ammonia-based ones. These ammonia-based neurotransmitters include dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, histamine and serotonin. Epinephrine is also known as adrenalin. Cold water eases pain as it is able to trigger adrenaline.
What does adrenaline do?
It is produced by the adrenal glands of the body. These are endocrine glands. As we saw earlier, an endocrine gland is one which sends its output, in this case adrenaline, into the blood. The adrenal glands are not tasked with the sole production of adrenaline. They also create other substances such as a steroid called cortisol. Also, adrenaline is produced by some neurons as well in addition to the production by the adrenal glands. The result that is achieved by the secretion of adrenaline is increased blood flow to the muscles. It also increases the blood sugar. The output of the heart and the dilation of pupils are affected by adrenaline. When adrenaline increases, so does the metabolism of the body. When we are faced with extreme situations, adrenaline helps us in either fighting the situation or resorting to flight, the fight-or-flight reaction. Adrenaline also helps in remembering those situations that played crucial roles in our lives in the past in terms of stress.
In terms of its functionality, adrenaline has a wide range. It impacts the muscles in the airways. It inhibits the pancreas from secreting insulin. It also hastens the breakdown of certain sugar compounds in the liver and in the muscles. It also initiates other glands to secrete their substances. When you are faced with lights or noises, adrenaline is released. However, physical threats are the major event in which adrenaline plays an important role.
We saw Cortisol earlier as also being one of the secretions of the adrenal glands. It plays a part in responding to stress. It is a steroid hormone which is a steroid that acts as a hormone. Steroids are capable of signaling while they are also a part of cell memebranes. One such steroid that is a component of a cell membrane is cholesterol. Cortisol also acts to increase blood sugar. In the immune system, cortisol prevents the release of substances that cause inflammation but it can also have a negative effect by preventing the multiplication of T cells. When we are experiencing stress, cortisol is secreted and can hamper the workings of the immune system. Together with adrenaline, it plays a part in recording stressful events into memory. This helps the body to stay clear of stressful events by way of a warning mechanism. Cortisol is seen in high quantities in the blood in the early morning. Cold water plays a part in influencing the release of white blood cells, thereby keeping your immune system at a dynamic level. We have seen how adrenaline functions and also the biological processes that explain how cold water eases pain.
As you now see how the body works when it experiences pain and how cold water can help you to tide it over, we see some of the other processes that occur when strong emotional feelings take a hold on you. Pain is the opposite of pleasure and the neurotransmitter serotonin plays a part in helping to tide over pain or anxiety. When a neurotransmitter reaches a synapse, the reaction that is set off can either be on that is excitatory in nature or one that is inhibitory in nature. The receptors that serotonin attaches to handle both of these reactions. Among the substances that these receptors of serotonin trigger to release are adrenaline and cortisol also. If you are finding yourself in an anxious state, serotonin will be secreted. After its functionality has been carried out, the receptor that serotonin had activated is withdrawn from the junction. This withdrawal is hampered when you have partaken of substances such as cocaine or antidepressants, which is why they are used, for pleasure-seeking and for medical alleviation o. Serotonin is also involved in memory consolidation like adrenaline and cortisol.
Dopamine is released when you are having a pleasure episode but it is also related to a drop in immune activity. The levels of this neurotransmitter are stoked by drugs such as cocaine. When dopamine levels drop, you are prone to experience pain in a more severe manner such as in Parkinson’s disease and in restless legs syndrome. When you have pain, you might resort to medications which increase dopamine levels. However, cold water eases pain as it also involves activation of adrenaline which is a neurotransmitter such as dopamine and is therefore as effective as any drug that you might be required to take, for the necessity of killing pain.
While it is one of the simplest ways to ease pain, there are other ways to ease pain which are as simple if not more too. The act of exclaiming or screaming when faced with pain is also a natural response but it also has a medical explanation. Whenever, you are having discomfort in your stomach, you would instantly reach out for a glass of water, and it cold water is available, you would go for it. In a similar way, whatever type of pain you might be experiencing, cold water is one thing that will help your mind to get the focus off the pain.
One of the most excruciating pains that we encounter is when we have a burn. We all know that cold water eases pain caused by burns as an instinctive response. When cold water is applied to the burnt area for a continuous period of about ten minutes or more, it not only reduces the pain but also helps in healing the burn better. It is the same when one is experiencing pain in the heels. You can get quick relief from pain and stave away inflammation when you immerse the heel in cold water. We have seen earlier about Cortisol. It also staves away inflammation by keeping those substances which cause it from being released. At the same time, Cortisol will also interfere with the functionality of the immune system in its efforts to heal wounds. With cold water, you do not have any such detrimental factor. Whenever you have pain on any part of your body, cold water eases pain when applied in the form of an ice pack. It reduces inflammation as well as keeping bleeding under control. You can use an ice towel or an ice pack for the purpose. Now that we have seen the overall benefits that are delivered by cold water, let us return to the concept of drinking cold water to reduce pain.
As it has a bearing on your metabolism, cold water is best suited to get those processes going that are necessary for the alleviation of your pain, both internal and external. The body and a whole number of processes are activated during the process of metabolism. With the psychological boost that cold water gives you, you have a complete solution for your pain whenever you experience it. All of us have gone through pain at some point. With cold water, we have a ready way to bring it under control. When we have severe problems with ailments such as Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, cold water plays an important role in the alleviation of pain. Whenever there is inflammation, the joint or bone is prone to heat up and cold water is the best remedy. When it is consumed together with the external application, a wholesome solution is created for the problem that is being encountered. Along with the beneficial effects on the bodily condition, pain is given the go-by with cold water. No matter what kind and level of discomfort you might be having, especially with the gastro-intestinal tract, cold water is bound to make you feel better.
The taste buds in the tongue make up one of the most important senses. We love to eat food that tastes great. If we were only interested in eating what the body needs exactly, there would be no scope for exploring the different tastes from around the local region and the wider region. Great food is what gets all of us really pleased and excited. It is the same with cold water. The taste that cold water delivers is totally different from that of plain water. The same pleasures that we derive from great food are also derived from the taste of cold water. As a result, we tend to feel totally exuberant after tasting cold water. Exuberance will be far from your mind when you are in pain. But, cold water surely pushes you in the positive direction and greatly helps to lessen the impact of the pain that you are feeling.
When you are in pain, you might not be able to have your favorite foods as you will be constrained by the medications that you will be taking for the particular condition that you are going through. However, cold water is never an issue and can be had at all times. As it has salutary effects when experiencing problems with the gastro-intestinal tract such as acid reflux, you can use it to relieve the symptoms of pain over a wide range of pain-causing conditions. When you drink cold water, you are altering the essential elements into one of great pleasure which is bound to leave you satisfied with the simple pleasures of life while also getting an alleviation of the pain. You get both physical-related benefits and mind-related benefits with cold water. Whenever you are going through any kind of pain, give cold water a try and get to feel better without any medications for the purpose of reducing pain.