Friday, April 19, 2024

Does Ice Help Knee Arthritis

May Ease Symptoms Of Depression

Managing Your Knee Pain – Icing for Pain Relief

Cold water is not a cure for any mental health condition. But certain case studies suggest that cold open water swimming has helped alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in some people.

One such case study involves a woman who had experienced anxiety and depression since age 17. At 24 years old, she began a trial program of weekly open water swimming.

Over time, her symptoms decreased so significantly that she was able to stop taking medication to treat them. A year later, her doctors found that regular swimming still kept her depression symptoms at bay.

In another , researchers found that a program of short, twice-daily cold showers decreased depressive symptoms. Its important to note, however, that none of the participants in this study had been diagnosed with depression.

When To Use Heat Vs Ice

Conventional wisdom says this:

  • Cold therapy reduces blood flow to the area, which can decrease swelling and inflammation. This can be especially soothing if you have an acute injury say, your joints hurt worse than usual because you were gardening all weekend.
  • Heat therapy increases blood flow to the area, which helps blood vessels dilate, drawing in more oxygen and nutrients. This can be especially soothing for stiff joints, especially for people who experience morning stiffness because of arthritis.

As this Cleveland Clinic article says, for an acute injury, such as a pulled muscle or injured tendon, the usual recommendation is to start by applying ice to reduce inflammation and dull pain. Once inflammation has gone down, heat can be used to ease stiffness.

If youre choosing between ice and heat, for the most part, it really just depends on what type of problem youre dealing with, says Brett Smith, DO, a rheumatologist at Blount Memorial Physicians Group in Alcoa, Tennessee. Youre trying to get the opposite effect of whats going on. If youre physically swollen, you want to try and cool that down to allow you to have less pain. If youre not physically swollen, then youre trying to heat it up to increase blood flow to help with the healing process.

Both ice and heat therapy may decrease the transmission of pain signals to the brain, which can also help with pain relief.

When To Use Heat For Joint Pain

Heat tends to be more beneficial for the types of everyday joint pain, such as stiffness, that people with arthritis experience. You can use dry heat, like from a heating pad, or moist heat, like from a moist towel warmed up in the microwave for 20 to 60 seconds. Moist heat tends to transfer through the skin more quickly and efficiently, Dr. Torres-Panchame says.

How to Use Heat for Joint Pain

As a guideline, dont apply heat to an area of your body for more than 20 minutes at a time or you could risk burning your skin. As with ice, dont put a heated object on your skin without some kind of protective barrier, like a cloth or towel. Heat also can follow ice therapy once the cold brings down swelling and inflammation, Dr. Torres-Panchame says.

As with ice, being careful and attentive is important to prevent injury. If something feels too warm, then probably its too warm, Dr. Bose says. So the temperature needs to be comfortable, ideally, not too hot, because it can burn your skin.

Types of Heat Therapy

Safety with Heat Therapy

Check your skin after five minutes to make sure there are no signs of burns and check again a few times while using heat, Dr. Torres-Panchame says. If you start seeing blisters forming, that is too hot. You need to remove the heat or else you can cause skin damage, she said.

This is especially important for people who have neuropathy or any other condition that makes them less sensitive to touch and temperature.

You May Like: How To Get Tested For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tips For Using Heat Therapy

Heat therapy needs to be warm rather than too hot. The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following tips for using different types of heat therapy:

  • Take a hot shower or bath in the morning or before exercising to help reduce stiffness, warm up the body, prepare the joints, and help reduce the likelihood of injury.
  • Take a warm bath at the end of the day to ease the joints after a day of activity.
  • Avoid using heat on any injury or during a flare-up.
  • If any redness, swelling, or bruising is present, use cold therapy instead for a few days until it subsides.
  • If people have neuropathy or another condition that makes them less sensitive to temperature changes, they should check their skin every 5 minutes to check that it is not burning or blistering.

People may also be incorporating heat therapy into their day without realizing it. Taking a hot shower in the morning, washing their hands in moderately hot water, or washing up can all be ways to soothe the joints throughout the day.

What Are Heat And Ice Therapy

How do I Choose the Best Knee Ice Pack? (with pictures)

Simply put, heat therapy and ice therapy also known as thermal therapy mean applying something hot or cold to an affected area, which can affect how your body responds to pain, stiffness, and other arthritis symptoms.

Many arthritis patients swear by both heat and ice as part of their treatment plan whether for osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear to a joint that occurs when the cartilage breaks down, or inflammatory types of arthritis, which is when inflammatory chemicals from an overactive immune attack the joint.

For Eddie A., who has psoriatic arthritis, warm baths are a go-to part of his self-care routine. In fact, before he was diagnosed with PsA, he would find himself needing to sit in the tub for 30 to 45 minutes each morning before work just to loosen up my hands, he recalls.

Heat and ice are everything for me, Deanna K., who also has psoriatic arthritis, told CreakyJoints.

In its latest treatment guidelines for the management of osteoarthritis, the American College of Rheumatology conditionally recommends thermal interventions for osteoarthritis in the knee, hip, or hand, for example. In other words, theres likely little harm in trying it, but its not a magic bullet.

Even though heat and cold are opposites, they can both reduce inflammation and ease pain and stiffness around the joints. They do so in different ways and may have different uses. That said, there is little scientific research on when to use one form over another.

Read Also: How Quickly Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Spread

What You Need To Know About Joint Pain Osteoarthritis Knee What Is Best Ice Or Heat

You should seek medical attention for any pain you experience. If the pain is caused by an infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You can take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your pain is more intense, you can try heating or applying ice to the joint. Alternatively, you can also try applying heat to the affected area. To relieve the pain, you should stay away from the activities that cause you to have joint pain. A doctor can prescribe you dietary supplements, such as glucosamine, that are effective in reducing your symptoms.

If you fall or are hit on the leg and notice any swelling or deformity in your knee, you should seek medical attention. If you cant put weight on your leg, it could be a sign of a more serious ailment. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately. The most important thing to do is to be patient and do not panic. The pain you experience is normal and is not related to any other health problems.

Dont Miss: Can Knee Cartilage Be Regrown

Appendix 1 Medline Search Strategy

1 exp osteoarthritis/ 2 osteoarthritis.tw. 3 osteoarthrosis.tw. 4 degenerative arthritis.tw. 5 exp arthritis, rheumatoid/ 6 rheumatoid arthritis.tw. 7 rheumatism.tw. 8 arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid/ 9 caplan’s syndrome.tw. 10 felty’s syndrome.tw. 11 rheumatoid.tw. 12 ankylosing spondylitis.tw. 13 arthrosis.tw. 14 sjogren$.tw. 15 or/114 16 heat/tu 17 .tw. 18 cryotherapy.sh,tw. 19 .tw. 20 exp hyperthermia, induced/ 21 .tw. 22 .tw. 23 or/1522 24 clinical trial.pt. 25 randomized controlled trial.pt. 26 tu.fs. 27 dt.fs. 28 random$.tw. 29 placebo$.tw. 30 adj ).tw 31 sham.tw. 32 or/2431 33 23 and 32

You May Like: What Is Chronic Gouty Arthritis

> > > Best Joint Pain Treatment Available

Osteoarthritis affects the entire joint and causes inflammation and changes in the bone and connective tissues. Symptoms vary according to the severity of the condition. If you have this disorder, you might be experiencing pain in any joint. Its common to experience symptoms in the knee and hips. You may also develop bone spurs around the affected joint. Its important to consult with your doctor if you have these symptoms.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include swelling and bone spurs around the affected joint. You may also experience soft tissue inflammation around the joint. Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers and suggest a program of physical activity. For those with severe osteoarthritis, surgery may be the best option. The best course of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms youre experiencing. Ultimately, the best way to manage your osteoarthritis symptoms is to find a solution that works for you. Osteoarthritis Knee What Is Best Ice Or Heat

Although osteoarthritis affects the entire joint, it tends to be more common in older people. It also affects women, who are more prone to developing this condition. Being overweight increases the risk of getting osteoarthritis, as fat tissue produces proteins that trigger inflammation. Therefore, obesity can increase the chances of developing this condition. This is because the underlying cause of this condition is genetics. It can result in certain bone deformities, including osteoarthritis.

Explore Supplements And Natural Remedies

Knee Arthritis- 5 Most Common Signs You Have It!

Supplements for knee osteoarthritis may increase production of synovial fluid in the knee joint. This helps smooth out rough movement that could be causing knee pain. Talk to your doctor before adding these into your regimen.

Natural remedies for knee pain can also be remarkably effective. These include things like transdermal magnesium, acupuncture, and mindfulness meditation.

You May Like: Does Weight Loss Help With Arthritis

What Does Cortisone Do

Cortisone, also known as a corticosteroid or a steroid, is a hormone your body naturally produces via the adrenal glands. When delivered as a medication, corticosteroids reduce the activity of your immune system, which relieves inflammation and pain for people with different kinds of arthritis .

Corticosteroids comes in many different forms, which vary by how long they stay in your body, how easily they dissolve, and how quickly they take effect. They can either be delivered locally , or systemically . Systemic corticosteroids are usually taken orally or as injections into a vein or muscle. Local corticosteroids for arthritis can be given as an injection into a joint for other types of health issues, they can also be delivered as skin creams, eye drops, or ear drops.

Also Check: Arthritis Remission

Things To Remember When Setting It Up

The Ice Barrel weighs around 55 pounds. While the stand alone weight isnt much to write house about but add to it the weight of the water when you fill it up and it quickly adds up to around 700 pounds. Make sure to put it where you desire to take the Ice Bath prior to you fill it up since as soon as its filled you will not be able to move it. While adding water, be sure to leave a little area at the top so that when you go in, water from the barrel does not overflow and fall to the sides. Another extremely essential element to bear in mind, specifically if it is your very first time utilizing the Ice Barrel is not to being in the cold water for too long. It can trigger hypothermia which can be very dangerous. Be sure to check out directions of taking an ice bath carefully. Is Ice Bath Good For Arthritis

You May Like: What Is The Best Cure For Arthritis

Why The Ice Barrel

The technique of cold hydrotherapy might be extremely instrumental for health however it might not be that easy to execute an ice bath. If you wish to include it in your regular regimen, going outdoors every day to a beach or a place where you can take a dip in the cold water may not be that convenient, even preventing. To cover what could potentially be quite a range every day to access a location where you can take a dip the trouble might not even appear worth it. Similarly, it may not be possible in the first place if you are living in a location where you do not have access to the sort of outdoors where taking an ice bath would be possible. So what do you do? Attempt to do it at home? You could likely get a huge tub, leading it up with ice and being in it for a long time. Getting simply enough ice to fill that tub every day or every time you desire to take a bath does not feel like a extremely convenient approach. Not only would it be frustrating to fill it up every day but getting the temperature level right each time, not to mention the expense of acquiring ice each time you need to fill that tub the ice bath concept suddenly does not appear really appealing now, does it? This is where the Ice Barrel comes in. With the help of this item, you can experience an ice bath with no inconvenience which too within the confines of your inside your home or an easily accessible place.

How And When To Use Ice

What Is Synovitis of the Knee? (with pictures)

Actual ice, ice packs and other cold therapies can help reduce knee pain and muscle spasms. Conventional medical wisdom suggests using ice to treat an acute injury or pain that occurs after activity. Put another way: Apply heat before your activity and cold after you return home. Cold can numb pain, decrease swelling, and block nerve impulses to the joint.

A review article summarizing six studies suggests cold therapy can be an effective way to relieve knee pain. One study showed that ice massage performed for 20 minutes, 5 days per week, for 2 weeks improved range of motion, function and knee strength among individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

To prepare to perform an ice massage, fill a Styrofoam cup with water and freeze it. When removed, that rounded block of ice fits your hand perfectly for performing knee massage.

Another study found that ice packs used for 3 days per week for 3 weeks improved pain just as well as no treatment. Importantly, there were no side effects seen with cold therapy in any of these studies.

To explore the benefits of cold therapy for knee osteoarthritis:

  • Apply a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a gel-filled cold pack to the painful area for about 10 minutes.
  • Wrap a towel around a bag of frozen vegetables and place it on sore joints for pain relief. Tip: Frozen peas or other vegetables mold to your body, making them ideally suited for treating knee pain.

Recommended Reading: How Effective Is Humira For Rheumatoid Arthritis

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.

Heat Therapy: How To Use It For Knee Pain Relief

Heat increases blood flow in the targeted area. This makes it very effective at relaxing stiff joints and muscle spasms. It also helps warm up your knee joint before exercise.

I recommend doing heat therapy for:

  • Easing morning knee joint stiffness.
  • Preparing your knee joint for physical activity.
  • Promoting relaxation at the end of the day.

Don’t Miss: How To Cure Arthritis At Home

How Cold Therapy Works For Arthritis Pain

Cold constricts the blood vessels in the muscles, which decreases blood flow to the joint area to help reduce swelling and inflammation, explains Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education and associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Southern California. Cold therapy also slows the transmission of pain signals to the brain, adds Robertson, who serves as a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association.

What it wont do is cool down your body: One misconception about cold therapy is that the effects can reach deep into the joint or muscles, says Robertson. While your skin may feel very cold to the touch, your body is remarkably efficient at maintaining its internal temperature, so cold therapy really only affects tissues near the surface like skin, fat, or small portions of muscles.

Dos And Donts While Using Heat Or Cold For Arthritis

How to ice massage for knee tendonitis my Physio SA Adelaide Physiotherapist
  • 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.
  • Recommended Reading: What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Elbow Feel Like

    Popular Articles
    Related news