Good Nutrition Helps Decrease Arthritis Pain
Ensure that you have well-balanced meals with a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and that can help reduce arthritis pain. Vitamin D may be in short supply during the winter months, but you can still get it through a supplement or fortified foods.
Does cold weather affect arthritis? You bet it does. Cano Health offers personalized patient care and a proactive approach to your health needs. If you are looking for health professionals who care for and treat people with arthritis, contact Cano Health.
What Is Better For Arthritis Heat Or Cold
sometimes, you may alternate application of both heat and cold therapies for better results. For instance, before, a patient may use heat therapy to warm up the muscles before physical therapy exercises then later apply cold therapy after the exercises. Another instance is where a patient may use heat therapy in the morning to loosen up an osteoarthritic knee then later use cold therapy to prevent or reduce swelling. These may be done throughout the day alternating heat and cold therapies depending on the situation.
The basic principle of using these two types of therapies, heat and cold, is to know when to apply each. For instance, you cannot apply heat therapy for arthritis when the joint is already hot, red and irritated. The same case, you cant apply cold therapy for arthritis to a stiff joint that is not moving well. Simply understand that heat helps to relax muscles and cold helps reduce inflammation and pain. Having known this, you can easily answer the question, what is better for arthritis, heat or cold?
Dont Miss: Can Arthritis Cause Swelling
Find Ways To Stay Warm
If you find cold weather makes you feel worse, it is important you wrap up and stay warm in the winter. If you find yourself cold at night, wrap up with an extra blanket or two or slip a hot water bottle between your sheets. Or if you live somewhere cold, always wear a scarf as this can make you feel much warmer than you realize.
If you have Raynauds, you may find that your hands and feet are more sensitive to the cold. Glove liners work well when youre indoors, but when you go outside, you can purchase hand and foot warmers to insert into your gloves and shoes. This will keep you nice and toasty and combat the pain of Raynauds!
You May Like: Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Worse At Night
Read Also: Same Dosage For Arthritis
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.
Is Heating Pad Good For Arthritis
Heat treatment for cold pain can be done using various heat therapy devices such as a heating pad, a hand towel soaked in hot water, a heat pack, a hot water bottle or a warm water soak. While using these devices
- Ensure the temperatures are comfortable- not too high to risk skin burns
- Place a cloth between your skin and heat source to prevent burns
- Do not use heat directly to injured or cut the skin
- Do not apply heat for over 20 minutes
On the other hand, using cold therapy may include using such devices as a cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or a bag of ice. In this case, it is also recommended
- Not to use cold therapy if you have circulatory problems
- To use a cloth between your skin and the cold source to avoid irritation or more damages
- Not to apply cold therapy for over 20 minutes such that your skin becomes too cold
- Remove the cold source when you notice your skin is becoming numb, bright red, blistered or blotchy.
Alternating heat and cold therapy for arthritis can offer the best arthritis pain management benefits, provided each type of therapy is used appropriately.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
You May Like: Medical Term Arthritis
What Is Cold Weather Arthritis
Arthritis is a term that means joint inflammation. This condition has become increasingly common in people in older age groups. Women are more likely to develop arthritis than men. Symptoms of this condition include tenderness of the joints, joint stiffness, chronic pain as well as redness and swelling of these joints. While it can occur in most joints in the body, it is most common in the shoulder joints, hip joints, spine, and knee joints. During the cold weather, the pain in these joints flares up and becomes unbearable. Some scientists have attributed this phenomenon to the changes in barometric pressure brought about by the cold weather. Others argue that it is caused by the constriction of the blood vessels by nerves to reduce heat and keep the body warm. The argument here is that the activation of the nerves is what leads to the increased pain.
Even so, there has been a lot of research done to find the connection between arthritis and the cold weather, but all of them are inconclusive. The most common types of arthritis include:
This is a type of arthritis that affects limbs joints. It occurs when there is continuous degeneration of tissues that cushion the joints between bones. When this cushion is not there, the bones swell and this causes pain during movement. This type of arthritis can also occur as a result of an injury.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
3. Psoriatic Arthritis
What Triggers An Osteoarthritis Flare
If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you may experience a flare, where flare implies the period of increased disease-related activity or worsening of symptoms. During this phase, your regular medications fail to give relief from your symptoms or help to control your disease. Most of the patients may add flares, which affect their other aspects of life.
Trauma or injury to your affected joint may cause a flare-up of osteoarthritis. Accordingly, cartilage gives shock absorption at the time of physical movements. Hence, if your cartilage breaks down, it makes your joints vulnerable to suffer from flare-ups, as your bones rub together. Secondly, you may suffer from osteoarthritis flare-ups because of bone spurs or osteophytes. Bone spurs are small bones pieces, which grow on various breakdown joints.
In some cases, both cartilage and bone pieces lose and cause a relatively higher level of pain. Other than this, you may experience osteoarthritis-related flare-ups because of a few of the additional factors. These include injuries related to physical exercise, stress, cold weather, repetitive movements, weight gain, infections and drop in atmospheric or barometric pressure.
Approximately 80% of old adults aging from 55 years to elderly ones have evidence related to osteoarthritis on X-rays. However, only 60% of the total patients experience only symptoms. Other than this, old women have increased incidences related to knee osteoarthritis as compared to men.
Don’t Miss: Remedy For Arthritis Pain In Hands
When To Use Heat With An Older Dog:
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.
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.
You May Like: Mayo Clinic On Arthritis
Dos And Donts While Using Heat Or Cold For Arthritis
How Does The Cold Weather Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Worse
How Does Cold Weather Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Almost everyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis notices their symptoms getting progressively worse during cold weather. And while there are ways to go around this problem such as wearing warm and lightweight clothing, stretching, and staying inside well-heated rooms, most arthritis sufferers would like to know why exactly does arthritis seem to flare when the temperature drops. Unfortunately, nobody knows the answer to this question. Although this stance may sound disappointing, there are some theories out there that could make understanding the link between arthritis pain and weather conditions easier and that we will cover in this article.
No scientific evidence
The number one reason why medical experts don?t know how the weather influences arthritis symptoms is mostly because there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that this is the case. A study on the topic of arthritis and cold weather that was published in a 1999 issue of the journal Pain states that although RA patients report weather sensitivity, the relationship is not clinically significant. On the other hand, a study published a few years ago in Reumatologia Clinica found a 16% increase in flares due to cold weather.
What others experts have to say
Is it the weather or something else?
Cold and arthritis pain
Other conditions that are affected by weather
What you can do about it
Read Also: What Are The Symptoms For Arthritis
Steer Clear Of People Who Are Sick
Use common sense and avoid people around you who are coughing or otherwise under the weather, says Dr. Domingues. To stay safe at home, be sure others in your household get their flu shots and other recommended immunizations to prevent the spread of flu. If youre under the weather, stay home from work or social activities to give yourself time to rest and recover.
The Link Between Weather And Joint Pain
It isnt entirely clear why weather affects people with arthritis, but the link between weather and arthritic pain has been extensively studied. People with arthritis may experience pain in places where temperature changes are more extreme and in damp climates. They also experience pain in response to climate factors like humidity, air pressure, and wind speed. Temperature and barometric pressure have also been noted as contributing factors to joint pain. Understanding how different weather patterns affect pain can help people with arthritis find the best climate for them.
Don’t Miss: Stopping Arthritis In Fingers
Get Your Yearly Flu Shot And Stay Current On Your Pneumonia Vaccine
Even the healthiest people can be felled by the flu, but those with rheumatoid arthritis , psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and other autoimmune forms of arthritis are at even greater risk of infections like the flu and pneumonia. Both the arthritis itself, which compromises how well your body fights off infections, and certain medications used to control the disease, which can further weaken the immune system, can make flu season more risky resulting in higher susceptibility of catching viruses, more severe infections and complications like pneumonia and hospitalization, and longer recovery periods.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting a flu shot by October, since the flu typically occurs between October and May, its not too late to get vaccinated. People with inflammatory arthritis should get the inactivate vaccine , which contains killed viruses. The nasal spray vaccine contains live viruses that can weaken the immune system and is not currently approved for use in people with inflammatory arthritis.
Data Collection And Analysis
The above search strategy identified a set of potentially relevant articles which were subsequently retrieved for review. These trials were assessed by two independent reviewers . Studies were selected to include in the review according to the inclusion criteria.
From each included trial, we collected information regarding the trial design, patient characteristics, dosages and treatment periods, baseline and end of study outcomes. Data concerning details of the studied population, intervention and outcomes were extracted using predetermined extraction forms by two independent reviewers . Differences in data extraction were resolved by referring back to the original article and establishing consensus. A third reviewer was consulted to help resolve differences. When necessary, information was sought from the authors of the primary studies.
This review was originally conducted to develop clinical practice guidelines for OA. They were adopted by a Panel of Experts: The Ottawa Panel on March 2003
Statistic analysis Outcomes were continuous in nature . Where pooling of data from different trials was possible, these outcomes were analyzed by a weighted mean difference using a fixed effects model. For dichotomous data, relative risks were used. The effect measured in an individual trial is weighted by the amount of variability about the mean in that study for that outcome. Graphical data were used in cases where table data were not available.
Read Also: Can Arthritis Cause Itchy Skin
Buy A Really Good Snowsuit
Think puffy snowsuits are just for kids? Turns out they are ideal for arthritis patients as well, Amy S. says. I have a down coat that I bought from Lands End that has a hood and goes almost to my ankles, as well as fleece-lined snow pants, and I wear them any time Im going to be outdoors in the cold for more than a few minutes, she says. Do I look ridiculous loading my groceries into my car? Probably. Do I care? Nope. Sometimes I even wear them in my house. Keeping my joints warm is everything.
Generally Heat Applications Work Best Early In The Day
Use this as a jump-start for stiff joints. Icing is used at the end of the day to minimize any inflammation sparked by your days activities. If you have any questions about hot and cold treatments, talk with your doctor. At Summit, our teams of physicians and healthcare professionals can manage symptoms through a variety of conservative treatments designed to restore mobility, reduce pain, and protect the lifestyle you love.
Recommended Reading: Rheumatoid Arthritis And Itchy Skin
Is Fresh Orange Juice Good For Arthritis
Juices for Arthritis Relief Many juices are good for the body in moderation because they provide the nutrients and minerals the body needs to stay healthy and balanced. The best juices for joint health include orange, tomato, pineapple, and carrot juices as well as grape, tart cherry, and cranberry.
Heat Vs Cold Therapy For Joint Pain
Applying heat or cold can offer an inexpensive and easy way to relieve arthritis-related aches and pains. However, there can be confusion about when to use heat versus cold therapy. Heat can relax muscles and improve joint lubrication. Heat therapy is typically used to relieve muscle and joint stiffness, help warm-up joints prior to activity, and/or relieve muscle spasm. Cold therapy can help reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain related to joint arthritis. Cold application is also often recommended for acute bone and joint injuries.
Some patients may even get best results by alternating between heat and cold therapy. For example, heat may be utilized in the morning to âloosen-upâ stiff arthritic joints and cold application subsequently used later in the day to reduce swelling. This alternating process can be repeated throughout the day for pain relief.
Most often, cold therapy is recommended with certain types of painful arthritis inflammation flares, such as seen with gout and pseudogout. Other types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, may benefit from both heat and cold therapy. No specific universal guidelines exist for when to use heat or cold therapy for joint pain, and a quick web search will yield varying recommendations. People with arthritis joint pain are advised to experiment with both heat and cold therapy to find which works best for their individual symptoms.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Wrist
Cochrane Review: Thermotherapy Versus Cryotherapy
A Cochrane Review assessed three randomized, controlled clinical trials involving 179 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Patients were allowed to continue taking their medications but also used hot, cold, or ice packs and towels, with or without massage. They were compared to a control group receiving no treatment. Reviewers looked for outcomes of pain relief, reduction of edema/swelling, and improvement of knee flexion , range of motion, and function. Here are the results of the Cochrane Review:
- The first of the three studies revealed that massaging with ice for 20 minutes a day, five days a week, for two weeks improved muscle strength in the leg, improved range of motion in the knee, and resulted in less time needed to walk 50 feet, compared to the control group.
- The second study showed that knee osteoarthritis patients using ice packs for three days a week for three weeks had no significant improvement in pain compared to patients receiving no treatment.
- The third study indicated that cold packs applied to the knee for 20 minutes, ten times, resulted in decreased swelling compared to the control group who received no treatment. Hot packs used for the same amount of time had the same effect on swelling as the control group who received no treatment.
Dont Miss: Arthritis Flare Up In Hands