Friday, January 27, 2023

Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Arthritis Pain

How To Treat Joint Pain

Should you use heat or ice for joint pain?

Whether to use a hot or cold treatment to provide relief depends on the source of the pain.

Heat increases blood flow to an affected area, which promotes healing and relaxes muscle spasms. Cold restricts blood flow, reducing swelling and inflammation. It also numbs pain around the affected area.

Generally speaking, ice is better for inflammatory pain. You can tell if a joint is inflamed if its red, swollen, or warm to the touch. Relieve inflamed joints by applying a gel ice pack, cold pack, or even a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a T-shirt to the injured area.

For joint pain not caused by inflammation such as osteoarthritis opt for heat. The Arthritis Foundation recommends placing a moist heating pad wrapped in a layer of cloth on the affected joint or soaking it in a warm bath. Heat treatments also can be effective for rheumatoid arthritis when youre not having a flare-up.

Tips To Combine Heat And Cold Therapy In Your Daily Routine

Here are a few tips to help you incorporate the use of heat and/or cold therapy in your everyday activities:

  • Keep a heat patch near your beduse it first thing in the morning to warm up your muscles if you wake up with an achy or stiff back
  • Apply a cold patch before bed if you have exercised or exerted your back
  • Use heat therapy before sleeping and after waking up if you have chronic back pain
  • Carry a couple of self-activating heat patches and ice packs in your bag or car to use while driving or at work

You are more likely to benefit from heat and cold therapy when you make these treatments a part of your daily routine.

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

Don’t Miss: Does Arthritis Hurt To The Touch

Using Heat Or Ice For Knee Pain

Depending on the situation, both ice and heat can be effective and convenient options for easing the pain in your knees. Because each treatment affects your leg in different ways, however, it is important to consider your specific condition before selecting one or the other. By better understanding the benefits and risks of each treatment, you can appropriately choose the option that is right for you.

Using Both Heat And Ice

Should You Use Ice or Heat for Joint Pain?

In some situations, applying both ice and heat to your joint may be helpful. Called contrast therapy, this treatment involves alternating between icing and heating a joint. While this option has traditionally been utilized after exercise or participating in a sporting event to aid in recovery, it may be helpful for more chronic conditions as well. This style of treatment can be performed using hot and cold packs or by alternately submerging the knee in hot and cold water.

While individuals who received contrast therapy subjectively reported less overall soreness and muscular fatigue, the research is still mixed. The current evidence is lacking on whether this treatment is helpful in managing the pain associated with a knee injury or in reducing your inflammation levels.

Don’t Miss: Does Arthritis Always Show Up In Blood Tests

Our Rotator Cuff Formula Works

It may seem hard to believe, but our Shoulder TShellz Wraps®, and accessory products will assist you in recovering from your injury by reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain, maximizing localized blood flow and increasing the flexibility / Range of Motion in the area.

Here at AidMyRotatorCuff we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidMyRotatorCuff has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:

  • Guarantee #1 – Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, I encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
  • Guarantee #2 – You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any product from us. AidMyRotatorCuff Advisers and Product Specialists are available Monday to Friday by toll free phone 1-866-237-9608 or to answer your questions or concerns.
  • Guarantee #3 – Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
  • Guarantee #4 – All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
  • Guarantee #5 – You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.

How To Treat A Sprain Strain And Stiffness

Knowing exactly when to use heat or ice can shorten recovery time and help with chronic aches, pains, and stiffness. Treating an injury can be tricky and not all sports injuries or conditions will require strictly ice or heat therapy. In some cases, both ice therapy and heat therapy can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation process. Generally speaking, ice therapy is more appropriate for new injuries, like sprains and strains, whereas heat therapy is typically better for treating chronic conditions.

The RICE method is useful immediately following a sprain or strain and can also help with swelling or sharp pain following rigorous activity or exercise. Heat is often best for tight muscles, sore muscles, as well as the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis. Heat can also be used following an acute injury to increase blood flow once the swelling has subsided. Remember, though, that applying heat too soon following an acute injury can increase swelling. After sustaining a sudden injury, ice therapy should be used for the first 24 to 72 hours and, after that, individuals can transition to heat therapy in order to increase blood flow to the area.

Don’t Miss: Ra And Tendonitis

How Often Should I Perform Moist Heat Therapy On My Dog

Depending on your dogs circumstances, the frequency youll want to use moist heat therapy can vary:

  • Typically, moist heat therapy can be repeated every 6 to 8 hours.
  • For dogs recovering from a surgery or injury, frequency will vary depending on how far along they are in the healing process. To get a detailed week-by-week plan for your dogs recovery from joint surgery, including heat and cold therapy, at-home exercises, and more, browse our free Home Rehab Guides for Pet Owners here.

When To Use Caution

Should you use ice or heat to treat pain?

Paraffin wax treatments supply moist heat but overheating can cause burns.

Use caution on areas with decreased sensation if you have neuropathy or Raynauds syndrome. Extreme temperatures can damage skin.

Wonder if its safe to use ice when youre burning up with fever? Theres nothing wrong with using cold to bring down a fever, says Dr. Kriegler.

Recommended Reading: Red Swollen Finger Joints

Icing Or Heating Joints Can Provide Pain Relief And Reduce Swelling But Knowing Whether To Go Cold Or Hot And Knowing How To Use Each Form Of Thermal Therapy Can Be Tricky

Sometimes old-fashioned home remedies are just what the doctor ordered. Take using ice or heat for joint pain, for example. When your knee or your shoulder feels stiff, sore, or has a burning sensation, cooling down or warming up the affected area can help provide relief.

Its more of symptomatic relief, says Nilanjana Bose, MD, a board-certified rheumatologist with the Rheumatology Center of Houston. The pain may remain but because gives symptomatic relief, over time that will help, in conjunction with other medicines, heal the area.

But knowing when to use ice and when to use heat for pain relief can be confusing, especially if youre dealing with an ache or issue that youve never dealt with before. Although you should see a health care provider if youre experiencing consistent pain, its helpful to know what treatments can help provide immediate relief, especially if you arent able to see your doctor right away.

So, the question remains: when should you use ice versus heat to ease joint pain? Well, it mostly depends on the cause and type of joint pain youre experiencing, though personal preferences matter, too. After all, nobody knows your own body like you do.

Below, we provide information on when to use heat or ice for joint pain relief, as well as some tips to make your treatment more effective.

What’s Better To Treat Your Torn Rotator Cuff: Ice Or Heat

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

  • You’re looking to heal your rotator cuff / shoulder bursitis / biceps tendonitis / impingement naturally and want to boost the natural power of pain relief and healing in your body. Perhaps you want to get rid of shoulder pain or bone spur pain and inflammation
  • You don’t want to repeatedly pay the cost of injections, medications, hospital visits. Perhaps you want to try and avoid surgery – an option you want to avoid if at all possible.
  • You want to reduce the risk of worsening your injury.
  • You want to help prevent any future re-injury, pain, tear or swelling in your shoulder.
  • You want to control your own treatment and recovery at home, on your own time.
  • You’re looking for a tried, tested, and true method of healing that has worked for countless other people that have suffered from rotator cuff pain.

Combining cold and warmth is a simple yet effective way to get immediate pain relief and promote long-term healing. In your lifetime you’ve probably had your mom, family doctor, nurse, surgeon or physical therapist tell you to use ice right after you’re injured and something warm from time to time once the swelling’s gone down. It’s a simple yet very effective way to relieve pain and promote healing in your shoulder.

A rotator cuff tear can happen to anyone, and right now there are thousands of doctors and PT clinics dealing with patients that require a solution to their shoulder injury fast and heal it .

Read Also: Rheumatoid Arthritis In Back And Hips

Shoulder Pain Can Often Be Effectively Managed With A Combination Of Heat And Ice

Shoulder injuries can be extremely painful, and the shoulder is one of the easiest parts of the body to re-injure. Shoulder damage can often benefit from heat and/or ice therapy.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder and shoulder inflammation is best treated locally with a simple ice pack.

Interestingly, a study in Korea concluded that patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder can benefit from whole body cryotherapy .During the acute phase of frozen shoulder, the patient suffers from night pain and spasms. There is also chronic inflammation. The long head of the biceps tendon is often characterised by both acute and chronic symptoms. Treatment should involve icing the top front of the shoulder for about 10 minutes before bed every night.

Osteoarthritis

Hot and cold therapy is very effective in the treatment of arthritis. Doctors suggest treating the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis by using both heat and ice.

You should use heat before you do exercise and cold after exercise.To deal with pain and inflammation, use an ice pack for 20-30 minute intervals every 4-5 hours. Heat relaxes the muscles and reduces pain.

You should only use a heat pack for 20-30 minutes at a time. Wait at least an hour before applying the pack again, or you may cause tissue damage.

If your joints are swollen, do not apply any heat at all. If you have nerve damage, you should avoid hot and cold therapy altogether.

Calcific Tendonitis

Cryotherapy

Trigger Point Therapy

Whats Better To Treat Your Knee: Ice Or Heat

Should You Use Ice or Heat for Pain?

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 .

You May Like: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee

Read Also: Arthritis Remission

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:

  • your knee is very painful
  • you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
  • your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
  • you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection

111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.

Theyre also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.

You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.

When Should You Use Ice

You may want to use ice if you have an injury or your joints hurt after exercising, moving furniture, gardening or other activities. Applying an ice pack to the sore area decreases blood flow, which relieves pain and inflammation. Inflammation can cause swelling around your joint, making it feel stiff. When you use ice, stiffness is less likely to be a problem.

Ice is most helpful when it’s used for the first 24 hours after joint pain starts. If you apply ice to your joint, be sure to follow the 20 minutes on/20 minutes off rule. Keep the ice pack on your joint no longer than 20 minutes. Wait at least 20 minutes before you use the ice pack again. Take the ice pack off sooner if your skin hurts or looks very red. Keeping the ice pack on your skin too long could cause frostbite.

Recommended Reading: Arthritis Remedies Hands

Learn More About Hip Joint Injuries & Treatments

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

I want to learn more about Circulation Boost

I want to learn more about Hip Surgery: Do I Need It?

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL OUR PRODUCTS

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.

If You Answered With Pain In The Knee Joint

Should You Use Heat or Cold On Your Hip Pain?

You might want to opt for ice. If your main problem is knee joint pain, I would apply the ice directly to the most painful area of the joint.

Youll want to use a few layers between the ice and your skin. My preferred method would be:

  • Take a bag of frozen peas from the freezer
  • Wrap a thin towel around them
  • Dampen the towel slightly, then apply to the painful area for 15 minutes
  • Remove the peas/towel and let the area heat back up to its natural skin temperature
  • You can then apply the peas/towel again. There is no limit to how many times you can do this.
  • Always look out for any signs of ice burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.

You May Like: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee

Read Also: Can Arthritis Cause Burning Sensation

Range Of Lower Back Problems That Can Benefit From Heat And Cold Therapy

Heat and /or cold therapy is beneficial either as a primary or adjunctive therapy, but people often overlook this treatment because its simple, inexpensive, and readily available. The following common lower back conditions may benefit from heat or cold therapy:

  • Lower back pain from common conditions, such as herniated or degenerated discs, spinal stenosis , or spondylolisthesis

    Read more about Causes of Lower Back Pain

  • Direct lower back injury from falls, sprains, sports injuries , or collisions1
  • Pulled back muscle due to excessive strain or force leading to overstretching of the muscle fibers, such as from lifting weights1

    See Pulled Back Muscle Treatment

  • Exercise-induced muscle soreness, such as a from trying a new exercise, exercising without an initial period of warming up, or overdoing a specific exercise1

Always use heat and cold therapy intermittently, for 15 to 20 minutes, with a 2-hour break in between to avoid skin and nerve damage.

Popular Articles
Related news