Health and Fitness
2/22/16 at 05:00 AM 0 Comments

Hot and Cold Therapy for Arthritis

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Arthritis is a debilitating condition that is manifested by joint pain in various parts of the body. The most common of these joints where arthritis will be prominent in include the fingers where folding the fingers into a fist becomes a very painful affair, the wrists, the knees and the feet. All these are some of the most movable joints and thus the reason as to why there is a lot of pain. The severity of pain varies from patient to patient where in some people it’s a pain which is mild and ignored, others have the pain and manage by popping prescription painkillers to others where there is so much pain that the affected joint is rendered immobile. What’s worse, arthritis will affect the same joint in both sides of the body.

Managing the condition is done through painkillers, use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and use of herbal remedies as well as home treatments which can be used in the management of the condition. One of the best remedies to use which have no side effects are hot and cold treatments. These are treatments which seek to alleviate pain by using a cold press to numb the nerves and thus reduce the various types of joint pain or the use of heat treatments. A hot therapy makes use of a hot substance which is placed over the affected joint and is aimed at alleviating joint pain by improving the circulation of blood from that area and thus less pain results and limited to no swelling.

Before choosing the type of therapy to use, it is important to get a joint pain overview and understand the type of arthritis which causes the pain and thus, the best way to address the pain. The most common form of arthritis is referred to as osteoarthritis. This is a form of arthritis in which the bone loses its mass and tends to become brittle. This mostly occurs in the later years, mainly after 45 years of age. It is more common in women than men whose onset tends to be triggered by menopause. Rheumatoid arthritis is also another form of arthritis whose cause comes from an autoimmune reaction by the body’s white blood cells. This is quite difficult to manage as the cause is the body itself.

In most cases, heat treatments for arthritis are available in various forms. These could come as warm baths, heating pads as well as hot packs. These are most common when one would like to soothe a stiff joint pain as well as muscles which are tired. Heat has been shown to enhance circulation of blood whose key role is to deliver oxygen and nutrients into the muscles. When it comes to cold treatments, this is the best ideal for the types of joint pain that are acute in nature. Cold treatments slow circulation and numbs nerve endings thus dulling pain. Cold treatments also help in minimizing inflammation in the affected joint, seeing that there is minimal circulation. Below are some of the most common types of hot and cold treatments.

A warm bath is highly recommended for arthritis patients who wake up with morning stiffness. This form of cold treatment helps relieve muscle tension and make one feel fresh and alive. Paraffin wax can be used occasionally if one desires to work on the hand or foot joins. Having the right joint pain overview helps one in choosing the most ideal treatment. A heating pad is ideal when used with a cloth buffer to protect the skin from being burned. The hot pad can be used for up to 20 minutes a time before it requires to be recharged. An air-activated hot pack can also be used to achieve the same value. These heat pads are available over the counter in moist drug stores. For the best value, you can soak up the heat pad in the water and then warm it to the required standard. The heat pad should be placed on the affected area for 15- 20 minutes. Mineral oil can be used to massage the area as the heat press is applied.

When it comes to cold treatments, wrap a bag of frozen vegetables in a wet towel so as to protect the skin from extreme cold. This ought to be applied in areas which are cold for about 20 minutes each time. A gel pack is also recommended as it does not leak and takes long before it thaws out. You can also make your own ice pack by mixing a cup of rubbing alcohol and two cups water and freezing in a plastic zip bag. Alternatively, one can make an ice bag for the various types of joint pain and submerge the affected joint in the bath.


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