Friday, January 27, 2023

Do You Use Heat Or Cold On Arthritis

When Not To Use

When to use heat or cold for knee pain?

There are certain cases where heat therapy should not be used. If the area in question is either bruised or swollen , it may be better to use cold therapy. Heat therapy also shouldnt be applied to an area with an open wound.

People with certain pre-existing conditions should not use heat therapy due to higher risk of burns or complications due to heat application. These conditions include:

  • diabetes
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • multiple sclerosis

If you have either heart disease or hypertension, ask your doctor before using heat therapy. If you are pregnant, check with your doctor before using saunas or hot tubs.

Heat therapy is often most beneficial when used for a good amount of time, unlike cold therapy, which needs to be limited.

Minor stiffness or tension can often be relieved with only 15 to 20 minutes of heat therapy.

Moderate to severe pain can benefit from longer sessions of heat therapy like warm bath, lasting between 30 minutes and two hours.

Heat Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Heat helps improve your pain tolerance and relaxes muscles, both of which can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Heat treatment remains a standard part of the physical therapists practice. But you don’t need to visit a physical therapist to reap the benefits of heat therapy. Here are some techniques you can use at home.

Warm bath or shower. A hot tub or a bathtub equipped with water jets can closely duplicate the warm-water massage of whirlpool baths used by professionalsfor most people, the bathtub works nearly as well. Soaking for 15 to 20 minutes in a warm bath allows the weight-bearing muscles to relax.

A warm shower can also help lessen the stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. You can upgrade your shower with an adjustable shower-head massager thats inexpensive and easy to install. It should deliver a steady, fine spray or a pulsing stream, usually with a few options in between.

After a warm shower or bath, dress warmly to prolong the benefit.

Paraffin bath. Some therapists recommend a paraffin bath. You dip your hands or feet into wax melted in an electric appliance that maintains a safe temperature. After the wax hardens, the therapist wraps the treated area in a plastic sheet and blanket to retain the heat. Treatments generally take about 20 minutes, after which the wax is peeled off. Paraffin bath kits are also available for home use, but talk with your physical therapist for recommendations and cautions before you buy one.

Using Heat Or Cold Remedies For Arthritis

A major concern that arises is how exactly should one apply these methods or how often can they be used? We recommend using moist heat or ice packs in any of the above-mentioned forms at least twice a day for significant relief from your pain and stiffness.

In a research conducted at the American College of Rheumatology, they stated that five to 10-minute ice massages applied on the pain site within the time span of first 48 hours of pain onset can provide relief effectively. So can heat treatment, which relaxes the muscles in the body. Heat packs should preferably be used for pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.

Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Your Hands

Does Alternating Heat And Cold Therapy Help

Many people find it beneficial to alternate between heat and cold therapy. You can switch between hot and cold therapies throughout the day. Usually, its best to wait at around 20 minutes between sessions, though you can also alternate between hot and cold water in the shower. Always start and finish with a cold treatment.

Talk with your doctor before alternating between full-body treatments such as an ice bath and a sauna or hot tub.

The Donts Of Applying Cold Packs For Arthritis

Heat Or Cold For Gout: Best Alternative Treatment
  • Cold application is known to worsen the stiffness. Therefore, in general, cold packs should be in case of chronic muscle pain and on stiff joints.
  • Never use cold packs on a shivering or febrile person, even the one suffering from arthritic pain you may confuse the brain by sending wrong temperature signals, thus aggravating the already bad condition! Remember, the doctor said, use tap and NOT ice water for sponging your febrile sibling?

Also Check: How To Deal With Arthritis

Learn More About Hip Joint Injuries & Treatments

I want to learn more about Hip Surgery & Post-Surgery Recovery

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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!

Hip Injury Facts:

Over 90% of hip fractures are caused by falling, most frequently on the side of the hip.

Less than 50% of hip fracture patients return to their former level of activity. Proper treatment is important to maintain strength and range of motion.

Hip alignment affects the pressure put on the knees. A hip disorder can aggravate knee pain and vice versa.

1 in 7 Americans, over the age of 60, reports significant hip pain.

In most cases, arthritis pain will not benefit from a hip arthroscopy.

70% of non-fracture hip replacements in 2003-2004 were to treat osteoarthritis.

Dos And Donts While Using Heat Or Cold For Arthritis

  • Never apply heat treatment for more than 10 minutes at a time.
  • Cold treatment is not recommended to be used for more than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Be extremely careful while using a hot or cold bag.
  • Keep the temperatures at check to avoid any accidents.
  • If your body does not respond well to heat or cold treatment, better check and consult with a doctor.
  • Also Check: How To Ease Arthritis Pain In Fingers

    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.

    When To Use Heat With An Older Dog:

    Should You Use Heat or Cold On Your Hip Pain?

    Heat should be used for chronic conditions and should be avoided after acute injury, immediately post-surgery or flare-up of an injury or osteoarthritis. It should be used for 15 20 minutes over the affected area. Ensure the heat pack is not too hot to avoid burns. You need to ensure you check your dogs skin to ensure it is only just warm. Never force your older dog to have a heat pack if they dont like it. Heat can be used once to three times per day in colder weather.

    Read Also: What Causes Arthritis Flare Up In Hands

    Tips For Dealing With Arthritis Pain In Winter

    How many times have you sworn that a storm was coming because your arthritis pain was flaring up? How many times has a bone-chilling cold caused your joints to swell and get inflamed with pain and stiffness?

    Winter weather can be especially tough for those who suffer from arthritis, and there could be some truth to the old wives tale that aching joints can be an indicator of a change in weather. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation even cites studies that show lower barometric pressure caused more aches and pains for people in barometric pressure chambers.

    Arthritis can be classified as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Inflammatory arthritis features inflammatory white blood cells in the joint fluid. Forms of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, gout, and many others. Forms of non-inflammatory arthritis include osteoarthritis, arthritis of thyroid disease, arthritis after injury and many others. Studies have shown that cold weather can affect both inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis.

    With winter in full swing, cold weather pain and arthritis can be uncomfortable and affect your quality of life. The cold doesnt cause arthritis, but it can increase joint pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Here are some great tips to deal with arthritis pain during the winter months.

    1. Stay warm and layer up

    2. Eat a healthy diet

    3. Get your stress under control

    4. Stay active and exercise

    6. Get your vitamin D

    Saunas And Steam Rooms

    You can use a dry sauna, infrared sauna, or steam room to improve circulation and alleviate stiffness.

    The results of a 2018 review suggest that consistent use of a dry sauna is beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis as well as chronic pain syndrome. It may also help athletes to improve performance.

    You can stay in a dry sauna or steam room for up to 15 minutes though you may want to begin with shorter sessions. Give yourself plenty of time to cool down in between sessions.

    If youre pregnant, talk with your doctor before using a sauna or steam room.

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    Tips On Using Heat Therapy For Ra

    • Use safe heat sources, including hot towels, hot tubs, showers, or baths, hot water bottles, microwaveable hot pads, and electric heating pads.
    • To prevent burns, do not use heat for excessive lengths of time .
    • When using heating pads or hot water bottles, place a towel or cloth on your skin first, to prevent direct contact with the heat source.
    • Be careful to check your skin for redness often while applying heat, and remove the heat source if redness occurs.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a paraffin bath device.

    Risk Of Bias In Included Studies

    Should You Use Ice or Heat for Pain?

    The quality of the studies was assessed by the two independent reviewers . The quality assessment addressed the extent to which the RCT design, data collection and statistical analysis minimized or avoided biases in its treatment comparisons . A validated scale was used to perform the quality assessment. This scale includes items pertaining to description of randomisation, appropriateness of blinding, dropouts and consideration of withdrawals and followups with regard to possible effects on data analysis, with a possible total score of 5. Differences in scoring were resolved by consensus. A third reviewer was consulted when necessary. The median methodological quality of these RCTs was 2. No trial scored full points for randomisation, nor for double blinding, and only one reported withdrawals or dropouts.

    Read Also: What Does The Rash From Psoriatic Arthritis Look Like

    Heat Therapy Helps Relax Stiff Joints

    Learn different ways to ease joint pain using warm water or a hot compress.

    Heat Therapy Helps Relax Stiff Joints

    Learn different ways to ease joint pain using warm water or a hot compress.

    Looking for a natural way to get your joints moving in the morning? Close the medicine cabinet and try an age-old remedy that has stood the test of time: heat.

    If you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, arthritis, or lower back pain, try heating things up. Soaking in warm water or applying a heated compress is one of the oldest, cheapest, and safest forms of complementary therapy. Research has shown that heat treatments can loosen stiff joints and relieve achy muscles.

    Here is how it works. When you warm up a sore joint or tired muscle, your blood vessels get bigger. This allows more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to be delivered to the injured tissues. Better circulation means more relaxation for those stiff muscles and joints.

    Stay away from heat if you have an acute injury or are having a flare. If you have a sudden onset of swelling and redness from overdoing it yesterday, you are better off using cold treatments for a few days. Cold has the opposite effect of heat: it reduces blood flow and decreases inflammation.

    Here are a few simple ways to heat up your daily routine.

    Here are a few simple ways to heat up your daily routine.

    Take a Steamy Shower

    Apply a Warm Compress

  • Dip your hands or feet in melted paraffin wax . Wait for it to cool and peel the wax off.

  • Managing Pain

    Turn Up The Heat Sometimes A Little Hot Therapy May Be All You Need To Relieve Your Osteoarthritis

    EverydayHealth.com

    When it comes to treating osteoarthritis joint pain, sometimes simpler is better. Such is the case with heat therapy, which has been shown to relieve pain and improve mobility in many people with arthritis.

    Heat can help in relieving pain and spasm and is especially good before exercise it can often increase how far the joint can be moved, says Theodore Fields, MD, director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

    Fields adds: For many people, 10 minutes of heat to an area keeping the temperature warm but comfortable is enough to keep them comfortable for some time. If not, 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off the heating pad can be helpful.

    Treating Osteoarthritis With Heat

    Heres what the experts we asked say about the different heat treatments for osteoarthritis pain:

    Heating pads. Commercially available heating pads can be effective. I have advised a number of patients to try the Thermophore moist heating pad, says Dr. Fields.

    Hot-water bottles. A simple treatment for arthritis-related joint pain is to apply a hot-water bottle to the aching joint. If brought to a warm but comfortable temperature, these can be helpful,” Fields says, “but they do lose their heat fairly soon.”

    Read the full story at everydayhealth.com.

    Recommended Reading: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Checker

    How Often Should I Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain

    As long as youre being smart about which therapy you use and careful about how to use it, Dr. Torres-Panchame says they are okay to use repetitively throughout the day.

    It doesnt need to be a formal sit-on-the-couch-with-your-leg-up type of treatment. You may find youre already benefitting from thermal therapy without even realizing it. If taking a hot shower or bath every morning is very soothing to your joints, then youre already reaping the benefits of heat therapy.

    Other patients say that washing their hands with hotter-than-usual water is a quick way to sooth their hands throughout the day. Some people report that they actually like washing dishes after meals because its an easy way to use heat therapy.

    Your Health Care Team

    Should you use heat or ice for joint pain?

    To help manage pain you may want to consult a primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist or other health care professional. You may be referred to a rheumatologist a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis.

    Gaining control through communication

    Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life, few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Did you know:

    • Fewer than half of Americans with severe or moderate pain report that they have a “great deal of control” over their pain.
    • Fewer than half of people who visit their doctor for pain believe that their doctor completely understands how their pain makes them feel.

    One of the best ways to gain control of pain is to talk to a doctor about it. Unlike a broken leg, pain cannot be seen in an x-ray or identified by a medical test. What a patient says may be the only way the doctor will know about the pain. And because people experience and respond to pain differently, how a patient describes pain is the best way for the doctor to understand what the patient is feeling. Only then can the doctor help the patient treat the pain.

    Remember the patient and the doctor should share the same goal–reducing the patient’s pain.

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    Swim Or Exercise In Warm Water

    Swimming and exercising in warm water allows you to build muscle strength, improve flexibility, and increase mobility while reducing compression to your joints. This may help to ease discomfort and alleviate stiffness.

    If you live near a warm body of water, take a dip in a natural setting. Otherwise, find a heated pool in your area. Aim to spend at least 20 minutes in the water.

    How Does Heat And Cold Help Arthritis Pain

    Heat or cold therapy works by stimulating your body’s own healing force. For instance, heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulates blood circulation, and reduces muscle spasms. In addition, heat alters the sensation of pain. You can use either dry heat — such as heating pads or heat lamps — or moist heat — such as warm baths or heated wash cloths.

    Conversely, cold compresses reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels. While cold packs may be uncomfortable at first, they can numb deep pain.

    Don’t Miss: What To Do For Arthritis Pain In Hands

    Types Of Heat Therapy For Arthritis

    There are several types of heat therapy, called thermotherapy, options for arthritis. Heat therapy improves circulation and causes your blood vessels to expand. This helps your body to deliver more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the affected area, which may reduce inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Heat therapy may also improve mobility, which makes it easier to relax, loosen up, and move.

    If a heat therapy session causes swelling, redness, or inflammation avoid further treatments until your symptoms subside. Avoid using heat therapy during a flare-up or the acute stage of an injury. Talk with a healthcare professional before using heat treatments if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.

    Do not use heat therapy if you have any of the following conditions:

    • diabetes
    • multiple sclerosis

    Need Pain Relief While You Work

    Pin on Health Lantern

    I have tried heat and cold for my bursitis, but I am still in pain?, you say. Or maybe you need relief to just get through the work day. This is exactly why we created Workvie. Work vie , is for hardworking people like you that may still be working or wanting to get back to work, but your bursitis pain may be getting in the way. Lets face, carrying around ice and heat packs is not very convenient. You may want to try a numbing and anti-inflammatory cream like Workvie® Work Pain Relief System. You can use the cream during your work breaks to get relief throughout the day when you cant apply heat or cold compresses. It has an amazing scent that wont embarrass because nobody wants to smell like grandma.

    Workvie is a product brand dedicated to helping people that work with pain.

    If your bursitis pain persists for more than two weeks, seek your health care provider as soon as possible.

    This article is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor. Please consult with your primary physician.

    REFERENCES:

    • Oosterveld, F. G. J., et al. The effect of local heat and cold therapy on the intraarticular and skin surface temperature of the knee. Arthritis & Rheumatology2 : 146-151.
    • Lehmann, Justus F., ed. Therapeutic heat and cold. Williams & Wilkins, 1990.

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