When To Try Heat Therapy For Arthritis Instead
Heat therapy helps decrease pain and improve muscle flexibility in patients with arthritis, say experts. With acute inflammation during an RA flare, cold is best, says Robertson. Outside of that, there are few hard and fast rules, says Robertson, who encourages patients to follow their preference.
How Cold Therapy Eases Pain
Cold therapy can constrict blood vessels , which reduces blood flow. This may help reduce inflammation and swelling for an acute injury, or help ease chronic pain and stiffness.
Applying a cold pack can be helpful especially when an RA flare-up brings inflamed, swollen joints. Cold therapy typically2:
- Constrains blood flow to joints, helping to ease inflammation
- Reduces the production and accumulation of fluids in the joint, which can limit swelling
- Slows down pain signals to the brain
Cold therapy is simple and can be low- or no-cost. Reusable and disposable cold packs are available for purchase. Cold-packs can also be made from items available at home, such as a bag of frozen vegetables or ice in a sealed plastic sandwich bag.
To prevent damage to your skin, limit cold therapy sessions to less than 20 minutes, and place a towel or other protective layer between your skin and the cold pack. You can use cold therapy a few times a day, but allow your skin to return to normal temperature before starting a new session.
Also, if you have Raynaud syndrome, gout, or nerve damage, avoid using cold therapy on the part of your body thats affected.
Balance Rest And Activity
At the height of your flare, you may need complete bed rest. Your body may not give you any choice. But try not to stay in bed for more than a day or two. Spending too much time lying on the bed or sofa will make you stiff and increase your pain.
Once you start to feel a bit better, get up, stretch, go for a walk, and continue with as many of your usual activities as possible. You may need to cut back on your work, exercise, and social activities, but don’t abandon them. Take breaks when you get tired.
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Green Tea Shuts Down Chronic Inflammation
In August 2017, university and medical researchers in China published their findings on the green tea extract Epigallocatechin-3-gallate in the publication BioMed Research International.
(In their study, the researchers found that EGCG acted as an anti-inflammatory agent by shutting down chronic inflammation via multiple and diverse chemical pathways. In simplest terms, the green tea extract acted on nitric oxide run amok in a diseased joint environment.
Nitric Oxide is one of our bodys Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde molecules. In a normal joint environment, nitric oxide regulates inflammation as a healing agent. In an abnormal toxic non-healing joint environment, nitric oxide production gets stuck in the open, position creating chronic damaging inflammation. The green tea extra helped close down the runaway nitric oxide production.
EGCG also acted as an anti-oxidant
A common denominator in the pathogenesis of most chronic inflammatory diseases is the involvement of oxidative stress, related to ROS production.
The research showed that EGCG was able to down-regulate ROS and oxidative damage in its role as an antioxidant. In fact, a February 2018 study in the medical publication Cancer Letters suggests that green teas modulation on ROS can inhibit malignant clone expansion by modulating the intracellular production of ROS.
How Does Pineapple Juice Help
Bromelain which is well known to be a natural anti-inflammatory which is composed of analgesic properties thereby encouraging healing and promoting the overall health being of an individual. It is very effective in treating bruises and pains caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
This is achieved by the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects which help to retrieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by reducing swelling which are postoperative in nature. In addition, pineapples have enzymes which aid in breaking down amino acids bonds which advances good digestion.
Pineapples offer vitamin C which protects the body from any radical damages and boosting the immune system. The vitamin helps the body in that it repairs the body tissues and also promotes healing of wounds. The body also uses this vitamin to metabolize cholesterol, fats, iron absorption and synthesizing collagen and amino acids. Collagen is important in that it is one of the building blocks of cartilage, bones and skin.
The vitamin found in pineapples is good for the overall oral health since vitamin C reduces the chances of contracting periodontal diseases which are known to destroy gum tissues and underlying jaw bones which recently have been linked to stroke, diabetes and heart diseases. If you are searching to get rid of rheumatoid arthritis pain, pineapple juice is the way to go.
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The 8 Best Teas For Reducing Inflammation
Acute inflammation is a natural body process designed to help the body heal. However, chronic cases of inflammation have been linked to a host of health problems ranging from heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis to Alzheimerâs and irritable bowel syndrome.
Fortunately, thereâs research to indicate a healthy diet and lifestyle may help prevent chronic inflammation and many of the ailment sit has been linked to. Drinking tea is one way to reduce inflammation.
The beverage has long been used as an herbal remedy in traditional medicine from across the globe. It boasts extensive health benefits from boosting the immune system to lowering blood pressure.
Read on to find out more about the best teas for inflammation. Want to pick up some tea to decrease inflammation today? Check out our collection of the best teas for inflammation right here.
When To Not Use Heat Or Cold For Your Lower Back
There are some conditions and situations that should not be treated with heat or cold therapy. For example:
- These therapies must not be used on open wounds, bleeds, or when there is any fluid oozing out of the painful region.
- If you have certain chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, poor circulation, spinal cord injuries, diabetes mellitus, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised to avoid heat therapy. Heat in these conditions may cause excessive burns, skin ulceration, and/or increased inflammation.1
It is also advisable to avoid laying directly on the heat source due to the risk of burns, skin damage, or permanent changes in skin color. A protective barrier such as a cloth or towel may be used between your skin and the source of heat.
In general, many people feel heat therapy works better to relieve their lower back pain compared to cold. Also, taking oral pain-relieving drugs while using these therapies may have an added effect on the overall pain relief.2
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What Causes Ra In The Wrist
The specific underlying cause of RA including the event that triggers the immune system to malfunction is not well understood. When the disease occurs, symptoms begin with an inflammatory response inside the joint caused by the attacking immune cells. This inflammation results in swelling and pain, especially when the joint is used. Eventually, the inflamed tissues inside the joint begin to thicken, creating increased friction inside the joint that exacerbates the inflammation and painful symptoms.
Without proper treatment, the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones inside the joint can begin to wear away, and the space between the bones become smaller. Over time, the ends of the bones become exposed and pain increases significantly. As the inflammation, swelling and damage continue, joint deformity often occurs.
How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Fingers
Arthritis of the fingers can be quite uncomfortable, causing symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. These symptoms make hand motions like grasping and pinching difficult, which restricts a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two types of arthritis that most commonly affect the finger joints. Depending on which type of arthritis affects your finger joints, you may experience additional symptoms.
Thankfully, numerous remedies can help alleviate the discomfort from arthritis of the fingers, from hand exercises to help strengthen your fingers to over-the-counter and prescription pain medications and surgical treatments.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exercises To Avoid
Life can be difficult for someone with RA, for sure. The pain and stiffness you feel during flare-ups are only part of the difficulty. Trouble sleeping, stress, worry, fatigue, and isolation can add to the troubles one has to deal with. While it is true that certain exercises and movements can help improve the overall symptoms of RA, there are still a variety of activities that you should be cautious when doing or avoid altogether. Following a few simple guidelines can help you to make the best choices for which exercises are best for you and which are not. Also, you should know when to take time to rest or recover from an injury.
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.
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When To Use Ice For Joint Pain
For the most part, ice is appropriate to use within 48 hours of an acute injury or a flare-up of joint pain that comes with inflammation, experts explain. Examples include tendinitis, bursitis, soft tissue injuries, and inflamed joints, Dr. Bose says.
How to Use Ice for Joint Pain
The rule of thumb for icing down an inflamed area is up to 10 minutes on, followed by about 10 minutes off, several times if needed. Dont put ice or a cold pack directly on the skin, unless the cold pack has a built-in barrier, to prevent skin damage. Pay attention to how your body is responding to the cold. Listen to your body, Dr. Bose says. I tell my patients: Use an ice pack, put it on the knee, and once it starts getting uncomfortable, give it a break.
Types of Ice Therapy
You have a lot of options when it comes to icing a joint. At-home solutions like filling a plastic bag with ice cubes and a little water, using a bag of frozen vegetables, or putting a damp towel in the freezer are time-tested for a reason. You can purchase gel packs and other types of cold packs at drugstores or supermarkets. Whatever method you choose, use something large enough to cover the whole area where the pain is located, Dr. Smith says.
Safety with Ice Therapy
Should You Try Ice Baths For Fibromyalgia And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Although both situations can be tough ordeals to manage, cold therapy can be a useful tool to incorporate for both fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis relief considering its soothing effects. Pain, swelling, and inflammation of the joints are all symptoms that can be managed with cold therapy. Though cold therapy may not be a cure or provide an end to the conditions themselves, as a tool it can be a helpful part of a comprehensive pain management strategy.
Disclaimer: Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before applying cold therapy for fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis.
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The Importance Of Rest
While exercise is certainly an important factor for healthy living, rest plays a huge role for the patient who has RA. There are no exercises known that will ease the inflammation in your joints the way that rest will. Adequate rest will also play a huge role in combating the all-too-common fatigue that often plagues the RA sufferer. In addition, rest is also extremely important for you mental and emotional well-being, contributing to your overall optimal health.
To begin with, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep at night. Where most adults need at least eight hours of sleep each night, adults with RA may need as many as ten hours. Unfortunately, sleep can be extremely difficult for people with the chronic pains, stress, and loneliness often associated with a serious disease, such as RA. If you find you are having more and more trouble either falling asleep, or staying asleep, then you may have insomnia and might benefit from talking to your physician. You may also find relief in adopting some meditation and relaxation techniques that you can learn about from books or online videos. If your insomnia is bad enough, your physician may suggest you see a sleep specialist or a mental health professional to help you get to the root of your sleeping problems.
Whats Better To Treat Your Knee: Ice Or Heat
Ice and heat are the best treatment combination for you if:
- Youre looking to boost the natural power of pain relief and healing in your body.
- You dont want to repeatedly pay the cost of injections, medications, hospital visits or surgery.
- You want to help reduce the risk of re-injury, pain or swelling in your knee.
- You want to control your own treatment and healing at home, on your own time.
- Youre looking for a tried, tested, and true method of healingthats been used for centuries and has worked for countless other knee pain sufferers.
How to Use Superior Temperature Treatments to Heal & Relieve Pain from Your Knee Injury!
Combining cold and warmth is a simple yet effective way to get immediate pain relief and promote long-term healing. In your lifetime youve probably had your mom, family doctor, nurse, surgeon or physical therapist tell you to use ice right after youre injured and something warm from time to time once the swellings gone down. Its a simple yet very effective way to relieve pain and promote healing in your knee.
Knee injuries can happen to anyone, right now there are thousands of doctors and physical therapists dealing with patients that require a solution to treat their knee injury fast and heal it .
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How Often Should I Use Heat Or Cold Therapy For Arthritis Pain
Try to use moist heat or ice packs at least twice a day for the best relief from pain and stiffness.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, five to 10-minute ice massages applied to a painful area within the first 48 hours of pain onset can provide relief. So can heat, which relaxes the muscles. Heat should be used for pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.
How To Treat Arthritis And Joint Pain
While there is no cure for this condition, many patients manage the symptoms with doctor-prescribed treatments.
Common arthritis treatments include:
- Drugs: Painkillers, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs . As mentioned earlier, using drugs is often ineffective and has its downsides. Long-term drug treatment might cause severe side effects and some pain killers are also highly addictive.
- Hot or cold therapy: Heat can help with relaxing muscles and lubricating joints while cold can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Physical therapy and exercise: Regular therapy and exercise strengthen joints that have been weakened by damage and inflammation. It can help with improving joint mobility and reducing pain and stiffness.
- Diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods: There are many foods that contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help with arthritis. For example, garlic, berries, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are proven to be beneficial for joint health.
As much as possible, I would try to avoid taking drugs and use the other three methods. Of course, you should always listen to your doctors and physiotherapists advice first.
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Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain
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Medically Reviewed by UPMC Orthopaedic Care
Whether arthritis or injury is causing your joint discomfort, youve probably received varying and maybe even contradictory advice on how to manage it at home. Hot and cold therapy are two of the most common treatments for joint relief but when should each of them be used? Heres how to know whether to use ice or heat for joint pain.
The appropriate treatment for pain depends on its source. Joint pain may be the result of:
- An injury, such as a sprain, strain, or fracture.
- A viral infection.
Arthritis, one of the most common causes of joint discomfort, encompasses more than 100 conditions. Among the most typical forms are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue and causes inflammation.
- Osteoarthritis deterioration of the cartilage that protects bones and joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis which causes internal and external inflammation.
- Gout a condition in which acid builds up in a joint and causes inflammation.