Thursday, May 23, 2024

Is Cold Water Good For Arthritis

Make Yourself A Hot Pocket In Bed

Heat therapy or cold therapy? Hot water bag or ice pack? What works in arthritis?

Cold definitely increases pain and stiffness for Angela K., 50, who has rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. One of her favorite tricks is to sleep with two heated blankets one on top, one on bottom, forming a heated cocoon she can lie in. On cold mornings, Ill often just soak in the warmth for a good 15 minutes before getting up, she says.

Is RA considered a disability?

The Social Security Administration considers RA a disability if a person meets the following eligibility criteria: the persons condition is so severe that they will need to be out of work for 12 months or more. the person has gained enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits.

Can vitamin D reverse rheumatoid arthritis?

Another study revealed that a higher intake of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with better treatment results in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

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Does Cold Weather Cause Arthritis Or Make It Worse

Winter brings with it a plethora of health complications. Some of these conditions are referred to as seasonal illnesses since the symptoms flare up during the cold season. During winter, one of the conditions that flare up is arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world. Characterized by symptoms like pain in the joints and swelling, it is claimed that the symptoms get worse during the cold seasons.

Cold Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

If your joints are inflamed, it makes sense that something cold could ease the inflammation and thus the pain. The main benefits of cold therapy are reducing inflammation, swelling, and soreness, as well as temporarily relieving joint pain caused by an arthritis flare.

Cold therapy is best during an acute flare, Maggiore says. Cold therapy is helpful as it can lower joint temperatures, reduce pain, and decrease inflammation, she says.

Like heat therapy, cold therapy comes in several forms.

One simple method of cooling the joints is a cool-water soak in a tub. Just don’t let the water get so cold that you become chilled.

Cold packs that you place directly on an aching joint include everything from common items bags of frozen peas or gel packs found at the drugstore to complete systems of coolers, cooling pads, and devices shaped to certain parts of the body, like the knees and back.

There also are widely available over-the-counter cold sprays and ointments, such as Biofreeze and CryoDerm, that relieve inflammation by numbing the nerves.

But if the cold doesnt feel good or you cant tolerate it, stop using it, Maggiore says.

Others who should avoid or limit cold therapy are people with Raynaud’s syndrome, a condition in which small blood vessels in the fingers or toes constrict when exposed to cold. If you have this syndrome, you probably should not use cold therapy on the affected parts of your body.

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Is A Cold Water Swim Good For You Or More Likely To Send You To The Bottom

by Mike Tipton, The Conversation

There are people who will tell you that a dip in cold water is not just exhilarating and enlivening, but good for you. They have not, they will tell you, had a cold for years. In many nations there is a cultural tradition of cold water dips whether that’s a swim on special occasions such as Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as in the UK, or as part of a routine of alternating hot saunas and cold baths perceived to have health benefits, such as in Japan, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.

But cold water immersion is a doubled-edged sword and there is another group, often including those working in search and rescue, who will warn of the dangers posed by cold water. On average, someone drowns every 20 hours in the UK and the Christmas holiday period is a particularly a bad time of year for drinking and drowning.

There are centuries of references to the dangers posed by cold water: Herodotus, describing the ill-fated sea expedition of the Persian general , wrote in 450BC that “those who could not swim perished from that cause, others from the cold”. In December 1790, James Currie, a physician, stood unable to help as the crew of a stranded American sailing ship fell into the cold sea and drowned. Currie was so affected he went on to undertake the first recorded experiments on the effects of cold water immersion on the human body.

A quick way to die


Ice Your Back Immediately After Exercise To Reduce Muscle Soreness

Home Remedies for Big Toe Arthritis

Muscle soreness and back pain can occur from extensive workouts, trying a new type of work out, or even from excessive walking. Soreness from these activities may start on the first day but typically continues to peak until the third day.4 This phenomenon is called delayed onset muscle soreness and can cause significant inflammation and pain in your back.

When you have back pain from exercise or exertion, use cold therapy immediately after the activity to reduce tissue damage, inflammation, and pain. After a 24-hour period, use heat therapy to encourage tissue healing.4

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Protect Your Joints This Winter With The Wonders Of Water Therapy

For many people with arthritis, the bone-chilling cold weather can be especially tough on the joints. A drop in temperature may even amplify aches, stiffness and pain for some. The good news is, there is an easy way to ease arthritis pain, strengthen muscle and improve mobility with water therapy! Warm water can provide soothing support, plus its gentle on the bones, joints and muscles.

Research has shown that soaking in warm water, swimming or water exercises can help reduce the pressure placed on sore and inflamed joints and improve stiffness. Even having a warm bath or shower after your daily exercises can alleviate muscle and joint pain.

Water exercises can be quite enjoyable, and warm water immersion is a great way to promote relaxation. Just remember to not only sit still in the water, but to also perform gentle movements. At home, you can test your range of motion or try breathing exercises in your bathtub, says Dr. Diane Lacaille, Scientific Director, Arthritis Research Canada.

Here are some standard exercises to try in water

  • Neck Range of Motion
  • Sitting Range of Motion for Feet, Ankles, Knees, Hip
  • Seated Yoga or Stretching

For hot tubs/spas and swimming pools

Typically, deeper water means less weight bearing and load on the joints.

Arm Circles Extend your arms out to your sides and rotate your shoulders to make circles with your arms. After 30 seconds of this exercise, reverse the direction of your shoulder rotation.

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?

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Using Heat And Cold To Treat A Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare

One of the simplest, safest ways to ease joint symptoms from a rheumatoid arthritis flare can be done at home. Applying a warm or cold compress may help relieve RA pain, swelling, and stiffness. This approach works because temperature changes can affect inflammation, blood flow, and nerve sensation.

Keep in mind that heat and cold therapyreferred to as thermotherapy by medical researchersonly affects the area where it is applied. It will not change overall rheumatoid arthritis disease activity or pain/discomfort in the other parts of the body.

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Do Cold Therapy At Home

Ice or Heat for Knee Arthritis?

Apply cold therapy for about eight minutes at a time, advises Robertson but remove it as soon as your skin feels numb to the touch. Keeping it on too long can damage tissue or even cause frostbite. To help protect your skin, wrap the cold object in a thin towel or cloth. Talk to your doctor before trying any new therapy to make sure its safe for you.

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Benefits Of Water Exercise

Keeps joints moving

Pain in your joints may make you want to hold them very still as moving can be painful. However, immobilizing your joints or not using them will over time cause the joints, ligaments and muscles to lose range of motion and weaken. Muscles may also shorten and tighten up, causing you to feel more pain and stiffness and be less able to do the things you want to do.

Regular exercise helps keep joints moving, restores and preserves flexibility and strength, and protects joints against further damage. Exercise can also improve a personâs coordination, endurance and ability to perform daily tasks and can lead to an enhanced sense of self-esteem and accomplishment.

Exercising in water is a gentle way to exercise joints and muscles. The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints and encourages freer movement. Water may also act as resistance to help build muscle strength. Consult your doctor to determine whether water exercises are appropriate for you.


The use of heat is recommended for many people with arthritis, but not all. Your doctor can help you determine if it is appropriate for you. People whose arthritis symptoms respond well to heat have discovered many benefits. They have found that heat can to a great extent relax their muscles, decrease pain and stiffness and allow them to move through their exercises and daily activities with greater ease.

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The Relationship Between Cold Water Immersion And The Progression In Gout Arthritis

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : October 14, 2020Last Update Posted : March 17, 2021
Condition or disease

Variable description 1.1.1. Participants Characteristic Blood pressure and BMI were examined in a standardized medical examination. Demographic data were collected by using a self-designed questionnaire. The questionnaire included the demographic characteristics of the participant, including age, gender, marital status, educational level, income, occupation, family gout history, gouty arthritis drug consumption, alcohol consumption, and smoking status. The translated food frequency questionnaire was employed with Cronbach’s alpha as 0.95.

1.1.2. Pain The Visual Analog Scale instrument has 10 centimeters length. The standard scale anchored by “no pain” marked as a score of 0 and the “worst imaginable pain” marked as a score of 10 cm. The higher score identifies greater pain intensity. The reliability test showed that VAS was good . The reliability test of the VAS instrument has been done in Indonesia with the Cronbach’s alpha as 0.89.

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Tips For Using Cold Therapy For Ra

  • Use a bag of frozen peas, wrap ice in a thin towel, or use commercially available cold gel packs for cold therapy.
  • Avoid applying ice or cold packs directly to the skin use a towel or cloth between the cold device and the skin.
  • To avoid frostbite, do not apply cold for more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Allow your skin to return to normal temperature and color before using cold again.
  • Dont alternate hot and cold without a break. The Arthritis Foundation recommends waiting a couple of hours between sessions before switching to the other.

If you’re using one of these hot or cold methods and it doesn’t bring relief, or it seems to make the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms worse, talk to your doctor.

Additional reporting by Meryl Davids Landau and Jennifer Geddes.

Cold Therapy For Fibromyalgia & Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

Using Air Conditioning

Although no cures currently exist for fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, there are potentially ways to help relieve certain musculoskeletal symptoms that dont involve taking any medications. Cold therapy can be applied in a wide variety of ways, including the use of localized ice packs, surface-level cold showers, and penetrating ice baths.

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Turn Your Bath Into A Powerful Weapon Against Aches Stiffness And Fatigue

Soaking in warm water is one of the oldest forms of alternative therapy, and theres good reason why this practice has stood the test of time. Research has shown warm water therapy works wonders for all kinds of musculoskeletal conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Soaking in warm water often can help reduce your pain and stiffness and the benefits.

There are many reasons soaking in warm water works. It reduces the force of gravity thats compressing your joint. Water offers 360-degree support for sore limbs, can decrease swelling and inflammation and increase circulation.

So, how long should you soak? Generally you will get the maximum benefit after about 20 minutes. But make sure you drink water before and afterward to stay well hydrated.

Here are some other simple steps to make the most of your next bath.

Go warm, not hot. Water temperatures between 33 and 38 degrees Celsius are a healthy range. If you have cardiovascular problems, beware of water thats too hot because it can put stress on the heart. Anything over 40 degrees is considered dangerous for everyone.

Is Cold Water Therapy Appropriate For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cold water therapy can be helpful when an RA flares up, causing inflamed and swollen joints. Cold therapy works by constraining blood flow to joints, helping to ease inflammation.

Cold therapy also helps reduce the accumulation of fluids in joints, limiting swelling. Finally, cold therapy helps slow down pain signals to the brain.

Combined, these benefits can provide significant relief for people with RA or fibromyalgia.

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Whats Better To Treat Your Hip Muscle/tendon Injury: Ice Or Heat

Ice and heat are the best treatment combination for you if:

  • Youâre looking for relief from bursitis, tendinopathy, muscle strain/spasm, minor tears, or an impingement and want to boost the natural capability of your body to heal soft tissue injury.
  • You want to minimize the cost of injections, medications, hospital visits. Perhaps you want to try and avoid surgery â an option you want to avoid if at all possible.
  • You want to reduce the risk of worsening the injury.
  • You want to reduce the odds of a future re-injury, pain, tear or swelling in your hip or lower back.
  • You want to control your own treatment and healing at home, on your own time.
  • Youâre looking for a tried and tested method of healing that has been in use for centuries as fundamental conservative treatment recommendations. Physicians still prescribe heat and ice ALL THE TIME for treatment of soft tissue injuries.

Combining cold and warmth is a simple yet effective way to get immediate pain relief and promote long-term healing. In your lifetime youâve probably had your mom, family doctor, nurse, surgeon or physical therapist tell you to use ice right after youâre injured and something warm from time to time once the swellingâs gone down. Itâs a simple yet very effective way to relieve pain and promote healing in your hip or lower back.

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Pineapple: This Fruits Enzymes Can Decrease Swelling


Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which has been linked to decreased pain and swelling in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Sandon says. So, add this tropical fruit to your diet every chance you get. Try it cubed in fruit salad, baked in savory dishes, blended into a smoothie, or added to stir-fries to give a sweet-and-sour zing.

Bromelain is also available in supplement form, but check with your doctor before taking it because it can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you also take blood thinners such as Plavix , Coumadin, or aspirin. Bromelain may also interfere with the action of antibiotics and sedatives.

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Can Cold Water Immersion Help With Weight Loss

According to health influencers, the effects of cold exposure can boost your calorie-burning capacity. But is there any truth to this claim?

Although more research is needed to determine whether cold water therapy can help with weight loss, some studies have shown that immersion in cold water can speed up your metabolic rate. This is the rate at which your body uses energy and burns calories.

Take the historical example of Korean women who, for generations, have earned their living by diving for seafood in the chill waters off Jeju island. Until the recent transition to modern wetsuits, these women dove into water between 50°F to 70°F wearing only thin cotton bathing suits.

When researchers studied these women, they found that their basal metabolic rate was significantly higher during their winter diving months than during summer dives.

But does that mean youll drop more weight if you take cold baths or showers? The science doesnt go that far.

A 2009 research review concluded that brief immersions in water less than 59°F did increase metabolism. But there havent been any large studies proving that repeated icy plunges result in significant weight loss.

If you want to test the benefits of cold water therapy for yourself, you can try it out in several different ways. Here are some suggestions:

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