Make Your Own Heat Pad
Fill a cotton sock with uncooked rice grains and seal it. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. When it cools down slightly but is still nice and warm, place it on sore, stiff joints. Your DIY heat pad should stay warm for about half an hour. The rice grains will shape to your body and provide soothing heat. If you have lavender or another fragrant herb on hand, toss it in with the rice grains for an additional relaxing aromatherapy treatment, too. Check out these other home remedies for arthritis even doctors recommend.
What Is Vicks Vaporub
Vicks VapoRub is a mentholated ointment that is most commonly used to treat cold, cough, nose and chest congestion, minor joint pain and aches etc. Vicks VapoRub is presently manufactured in Mexico and India. These two countries do their packaging as well. VapoRub can either be used as an ointment or can be inhaled with hot steam. It should not be swallowed or applied inside the nose or mouth.
Vicks VapoRub in India is made by Procter & Gamble . It has been stated as an Ayurvedic medicine by Procter & Gamble. It is also indicated in the package as such. Vicks VapoRub generally gives 8 hours of relief from cough and cold. It is not suitable for infants.
Can Vicks Hurt Your Lungs
Long-term misuse of petroleum-based oils like Vicks VapoRub can cause a rare form of pneumonia called exogenous lipoid pneumonia when applied to the nose or nostrils.
Though uncommon, ELP has occurred in patients who have used mineral oil or petroleum-based lubricants and decongestants, like petroleum jelly , Vicks VapoRub, and lip gloss, frequently and over a long period of time.
Symptoms of ELP can include:
- chest pain
When applying Vicks VapoRub, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions and apply it to your chest or throat. Dont apply VapoRub to the nose or nostrils or near the mouth.
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Vicks Vaporub For Dry Skin
So, rubbing Vicks Vaporub onto your feet may not ease a cold, but could it have another use?
Many people believe that sleeping with Vaporub on your feet can help to soften the dry skin on your feet, so it can be buffed away with a pumice stone for soft, smooth feet.
The jurys still out on whether this actually works, but as there are so many amazing moisturisers and foot care products out there, were not entirely sure why this one caught on.
Maybe people love that it makes their stinky feet smell like Vaporub? Maybe someone was trying to cure their cold and found that their skin looked softer? Nobody knows where this one came from, but some people swear by it!
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So What Does Get Across The Skin Because Obviously Some Things Do
The skin is not a perfect barrier to all substances in all ways, which is obvious because of medicinal patches and creams, allergic reactions, and contact poisons. Some things do indeed get past that fibrous, fatty outer layer to interact with the living cells beneath, or even into the interstitial fluids and blood stream. How do they do it?
Size might matter. If molecules are small enough, they can slip through the skin like a small fish through a loose net. In 2000, Bos and Meinardi argued that a teensy enough molecule, smaller than an atomic mass of 500 Daltons, can drift through the stratum corneum27 the 500-Dalton rule. And the magnesium ions in an Epsom salt bath are way smaller than 500 Daltons, at a barely-there molecular weight of just 24 Daltons.
Im sure we can just stop there. Theres probably no debate or uncertainty about this, probably no other obscure and technical chemistry considerations. The magnesium is small enough to get through, case closed.
Ha ha, just kidding! As in sex, so too in chemistry: size is not the only thing that matters . Water molecules are also extremely tiny just 18 Daltons but recall from above that the skin is specifically structured to keep those teensy molecules out. And there are other ways to ban molecules. For instance, cells in the living layer of the skin take an active role in managing the passage of some substances.
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Other Pain Management Techniques
If a joint is very swollen and painful, your doctor or therapist may suggest you use a splint to rest the joint . This helps reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may recommend that you wear the splint during certain activities all day or only at night. This depends on how severe the swelling or pain is.
Getting a good night’s sleep restores your energy so you can better cope with the pain. It also rests your joints to reduce the pain and swelling. Only you know how much sleep your body needs, so get into the habit of listening to your body. If you feel tired and ache after lunch every day, for example, take a brief nap. This can help restore your energy and spirits.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, try relaxing quietly in the afternoon rather than taking a nap. Here are some other tips to help you sleep better:
- take a warm bath before going to bed
- listen to soothing music or a relaxation tape
- spend some quiet time by yourself before you go to bed
Do not take sleeping pills unless your doctor recommends them.
Massage and topical lotions
Massage increases blood flow and brings warmth to the sore area. You can massage your own muscles or you can ask your doctor to recommend a professional who is trained to give massages. If you have arthritis in your shoulders, elbows, wrists or fingers, you may not be able to give yourself a massage.
Tips for safe massage:
Uses For Vicks Vaporub You Never Thought Would Work
Vicks Vaporub is something that most people have in their medicine cabinet, ready and waiting to fly into action when a cough or a cold is threatening to strike.
Its been one of our favourite remedies for years, but can it be used for more than just a cold?
People have come up with some weird and wonderful ways to use Vicks Vaporub, some of them work like a charm and others well, well see!
Lets take a look at some of the crazy ways people are using Vaporub, and whether it actually works.
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Vicks Vaporub To Ease Headaches
Levomenthol works on the forehead by creating cooling and soothing sensations which is followed by a painkilling effect, so those who use Vaporub for headaches may not be too far off the mark!
However, we’d recommend speaking to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re looking for a headache treatment that’s guaranteed, they know their stuff!
Before And After Treatments
Before using heat or cold:
- Your skin should be dry and healthy.
- Protect the skin over any bone that is close to the surface of your skin. Place extra padding over the area to prevent burning or freezing your skin.
After using heat or cold:
- Check the area for any swelling or discoloration.
- Carefully dry the area.
- Gently move your joint to reduce stiffness.
- Allow your skin to return to normal temperature before using another treatment.
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When Blending Aromatherapy Oils Is Better
Often times, blends of oils are found to be more effective than single oils. For instance, one of the most promising studies on the use of essential oils to treat rheumatoid arthritis was published in 2005 by Korean researchers who evaluated a specific blend containing eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1 on 40 patients. Aromatherapy significantly decreased both the pain score and the depression score of the experimental group compared with the control group, reported the researchers. Bonus: The therapy produced no side effects.
You can mix up your own version of this blend with this recipe from The Healing Power of Essential Oils by Eric Zielinski, D.C.:
Arthritis Pain-Reducing Ointment
- 14 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 14 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
- 7 drops lavender essential oil
- 7 drops peppermint essential oil
- 7 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 ounces almond oil
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
If DIY isnt your thing, some companies sell products pre-blended for arthritis relief. For instance, Natural Options Aromatherapy offers its Arthritis Relief blend of Roman chamomile, rosemary, clove, lavender, ginger, and wintergreen in a body cream, roll-on, and bath salts.
What Makes Me Susceptible To Arthritis Of The Knee
Inherited bone structure or genetic mutations can contribute to the development of knee arthritis, as well as repetitive injury from a profession or sports. Age-related arthritis becomes common after 45 years of age.
Weight is also a factor, since the knee bears much of the bodys weight. The constant pounding pressure that is placed on the knee when walking, which becomes greater with more weight, causes the cartilage in the joint to break down over time. When the cartilage disintegrates, bone-on-bone scraping occurs whenever you move your leg.
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Menthol Irritates The Membranes Of The Mucus Lining And Airways Which Cause A Stinging Sensation
- If you rub your eyes with Vicks after having a cold, it causes the mucus linings of your eyes to become thick and sticky.
- This thick mucus builds up in your eyes and leads to painful eye rubbing and puffiness. Because of the pungent smell, it can also cause people to cough and sneeze, again adding to your discomfort.
- Those who use Vicks on a regular basis often complain about nasal drainage, especially when they are constantly on the go.
- The nasal spray tends to create a smothering effect in which the mucus becomes stagnant in your throat and nasal passages.
- As it is so concentrated, once you put it in your mouth and then expel it, you may not get as much of it out as you did when you first inhaled it. You are likely to have less colds and allergy symptoms, but they may come back once you quit using it.
How To Use Topical Menthol Treatments
When using any menthol lotion, apply it to a small area of skin first to see how your skin reacts. If you experience a burning sensation, wash the skin with soap and water, and call your healthcare provider.
A menthol patch typically works well on an area where it can be applied to a flat surface, so it might be best to get a menthol patch if you have back or neck pain. If you have pain in an area that moves a lot or is in a joint that bends, a cream or gel may be best so that you can still move that joint.
For menthol creams or gels:
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Clean the skin of all other lotions, creams, or ointments.
- Dry your hands.
- Apply a thin layer to the affected area.
- Rub the cream or gel gently into the painful area until it is thoroughly absorbed into the skin.
- Do not reapply more than three or four times per day, allowing a minimum of two to three hours between applications.
- After applying, wash your hands with soap and water again.
For a menthol roll-on:
- Rub a thin film over the affected areas, not more than four times daily.
- Do not massage the liquid into your skin.
For menthol patches:
- Peel off the protective backing and apply the sticky side to the affected area.
- Carefully remove the backing from the patch.
- Use for up to eight hours.
- Use no more than three times a day.
- Consult your healthcare provider if you want to use them on children under 12 years old.
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Disease Activity And Fatigue
Fatigue and arthritis go hand in hand for many people with arthritis. The main culprits are the inflammatory disease process and the accompanying chronic pain.
- Inflammation. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your body and inflammation is the result. The body undergoes stress as it tries to cope with the release of inflammatory cytokines in the blood. That can cause fatigue, especially when disease activity is high or low-grade inflammation remains for a long time.
- Chronic Pain. The pain-fatigue connection can be a vicious circle. Dealing with arthritis pain for months at a time over many years can wear you down. It can affect your sleep habits, which adds to your exhaustion. Being fatigued, in turn, can worsen pain and make it more difficult to manage.
Physical Effects On Arthritis Pain
The sensitivity of your nervous system and the severity of your arthritis determine how your body reacts chemically to pain. These factors also determine whether your nerves will send or block a pain signal.
There are many ways to help control pain. Some pain control methods focus on emotional and social factors. Other methods focus on physical factors. Using a combination of methods is often the best way to control your pain.
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Vaporub On Your Feet With Socks
Lots of people swear by Vicks Vaporub for a cold, but many of these people arent rubbing it onto their chest for all of its decongestive benefits.
Nope, the latest trend is to rub it onto your feet, pop on a pair of socks, and then go to bed.
Rumour has it that this will ease coughs and colds, but honestly, weve found very little evidence to suggest that it actually works.
If you want to ease a cold, rub that Vaporub into your chest, throat, or back and inhale it, youll get much more benefit out of those soothing vapours!
Reduce Soreness And Pain
Low levels of magnesium can ease the pain in people with arthritis. Epsom salt contains magnesium and may help the body get rid of toxins responsible for exacerbating inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain.
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Can Soaking In An Epsom Salt Bath Help With Muscle Pain
The idea behind Epsom salt baths is this: dissolve the crystals in warm water, soak your aching part in for a few minutes, and your body will absorb the magnesium through the skin, causing the muscles to relax and reducing inflammation. Since magnesium, an essential mineral in our diets, is known to play an important role in muscle contraction, immune system response, and even brain function, it sounds plausible that this treatment would work for muscle pain.
Most likely, any pain relief benefits of Epsom salt soaks come more from the warmth of the waterthe heat encourages blood flow to aching parts, helping the muscles relax.
However, there is very little reliable proof that Epsom salt baths offer any exclusive benefit. First of all, it takes a lot more than placing something on our skin or even dissolving it in water to help get it through the skins protective barriers . This article on the Pain Science blog explains the absorption issue in detailread it if your interested if not, suffice it to say that magnesium particles are not easily if at all absorbed through the skin, even if dissolved. Second, theres no reliable evidence that the Epsom salts offer any measurable pain relief, even if the magnesium is absorbed.
Most likely, the benefits of Epsom salt soaks come from the warmth of the waterthe heat encourages blood flow to aching parts, helping the muscles relax.
Breath In Fragrant Spices
Pleasant aromas like lavender can alter the perception of pain, studies show. Japanese researchers found that lavender reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you feel relaxed and less aware of pain. But lavender isnt the only pleasant aroma that works as a natural home remedy for arthritis pain relief. Korean researchers found that arthritis patients experienced less pain and were less depressed when they were exposed to the aromas of a variety of kitchen spices, including marjoram, rosemary, and peppermint. For a pain-soothing aromatherapy treatment, add a teaspoon of one of these dried herbs to a quarter-cup of olive, coconut, or vegetable oil. Take a whiff periodically. Dont miss these other soothing essential oils for arthritis pain relief.
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Heres What You Need To Know About Aromatherapy The Healing Power Of Smell To Treat Arthritis Pain
Many people who have to deal with the many debilitating symptoms of arthritis pain, swelling, reduced range of motion, and stiffness are open to trying alternative remedies to find relief beyond what their medications can offer. Indeed, research shows that people with osteoarthritis , the most common type of arthritis, are more likely to use complementary treatments than those living with any other chronic condition. And just as theres evidence supporting the use of alternative therapies like acupuncture and meditation in treating arthritis symptoms, science also shows some benefits of incorporating aromatherapy into your anti-arthritis armamentarium.
Roach: Exercises For Arthritic Hands: Beneficial Or Detrimental
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old woman developing arthritis in my fingers, especially the middle joints. I do various finger bending and straightening exercises, and I rub my hands together vigorously to warm them.
I recently visited a hand orthopedist to get a steroid injection into the worst joint. To my surprise, he advised me to avoid exercising my fingers because it puts extra strain on the joints and may accelerate the symptoms. Are you aware of evidence for or against hand exercise to keep arthritis in check? J.G.
ANSWER: It is true that symptoms of osteoarthritis in the hand, which is by far the most likely cause of hand pain in older women, will often get worse after exercise. So, although the orthopedists recommendation makes some sense at first look, I doubt that stretching and straightening exercises are doing harm: Its high-impact exercises that should be avoided.
Moreover, there is sufficient data from clinical studies to make us reasonably sure that regular hand exercises, done consistently over a period of time ranging from three to six months, reduced hand stiffness and pain, and improved hand function. My advice is to avoid overdoing hand tasks but to discuss a referral to a hand physical or occupational therapist to get exercises.
A second topical medication, tavaborole has similar effectiveness but is even more expensive.
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