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Can Heat Help Knee Pain

Where Are All These Receptors Anyway

Top 5 Knee Pain Relief Tips – Ask Doctor Jo

Receptor proteins are sprinkled everywhere in human physiology, but they are clustered the most thickly on nociceptors the nerves most specialized for detecting potentially dangerous stimuli. And they are the thickest of all where they are most likely to encounter the stimuli they exist to detect so theres a lot of them in the skin.

Piezo1 and Piezo2 are also dense in the walls of hollow organs. To detect stretch. How else will you know when its time to pee?

Counterstimulating With Capsaicin: Medium Spice Therapy

Sensory distraction is another classic rationalization for how therapy works . Its probably more legitimate, however.

One sensation can pre-empt another to some degree. This is known as counterstimulation, and it is certainly a real thing it is firmly based on the well-known neurological principle of gate control.27 The canonical example is the way we instinctively rub tissue around acute minor injuries.

If we counterstimulate one noxious stimuli with another, its counter-irritation.

Counterstimulation is a real thing, but not an especially potent thing. You could call it another tool for the pain treatment toolbox, but its not an impressive tool. Maybe just like a small screwdriver or a tack hammer.

But counterstimulation with capsaicin might be different.

Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review

Types of studies

According to an a priori protocol, eligible studies included randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials .

Types of participants

Only trials with participants aged 18 years or more with clinical and/or radiological confirmation of OA of the knee were included. Diagnosis of knee OA was defined using the ACR criteria of classification of OA of the knee . These criteria include knee pain, age over 50, joint stiffness, crepitus, bony tenderness and/or enlargement, osteophytes and no palpable warmth.

Types of interventions

Interventions using heat or cold therapy only were included in this review. Trials that compared thermotherapy with standard treatment and/or placebo were included. Concurrent therapies such as exercise were accepted. Trials comparing head to head therapies, such as two different types of diathermy, were not included in this review, but will be included in a future review on electrotherapeutic measures.

Types of outcome measures

The primary outcome measure was pain relief according to the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials . In addition, the other outcome measures from OMERACT 3 were also included for potential analysis. These were change in function, number of tender joints, number of swollen joints, and patient and physician global perspective on disease.

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How Often Should I Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain

As long as youre being smart about which therapy you use and careful about how to use it, Dr. Torres-Panchame says they are okay to use repetitively throughout the day.

It doesnt need to be a formal sit-on-the-couch-with-your-leg-up type of treatment. You may find youre already benefitting from thermal therapy without even realizing it. If taking a hot shower or bath every morning is very soothing to your joints, then youre already reaping the benefits of heat therapy.

Other patients say that washing their hands with hotter-than-usual water is a quick way to sooth their hands throughout the day. Some people report that they actually like washing dishes after meals because its an easy way to use heat therapy.

Ice Vs Heat For Treating Your Knee Injury

Knee Pain Relief

When dealing with a knee injury it’s hard to know what treatment will work best for you. You might be wondering if ice and heat will work for you. Or maybe even which will work better – ice OR heat.

Icing and heating are 2 of the most natural treatment options available. Compared to medications, surgery and other treatment methods – icing and heating have been around for centuries and have always been used for knee injury healing as a means to soothe and heal.

We understand that it can get pretty confusing to figure out what conservative treatment method will work best with all of the treatment options available to you today. To get started, you should think about the benefits you’ll get from using these therapies.

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Articles On Knee Pain

You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.

Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.

Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.

Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.

Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.

Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.

Don’t overlook your weight. If you’re overweight, losing weight reduces the stress on your knee. You donât even need to get to your “ideal” weight. Smaller changes still make a difference.

What Benefits Do Heat Pads For Knee Give

Having knee pain is extremely common in America. It usually affects the old age when muscles become weak and are more common in women. A person can experience pain in any area, including the knee cap and bones surrounding the knee. The most common symptoms are swelling, having difficulty bending and extending the knee, difficulty climbing stairs. However, there are various ways to relieve pain, and the most effective way is to use heat pads for the knee.

How does it work?

Using a heated compress is one of the oldest ways of relieving pain. It helps to loosen stiff joints, ultimately relieving pain.

When heat compress is applied to the joint, the blood vessels get bigger, allowing more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to flow to the affected joint. Due to this, the circulation becomes better, leading to more relaxed muscles.

Types of heating pads

There are mainly two types of heating pads that can be used for effective results.

  • Natural stone heating pads
  • Electric heating pads

Natural stone heating pads have different types of stones on it and each stone has different health benefits. There are infrared knee heating pads. However, a natural stone heating pad may become expensive for people who would like to have a heating pad in a low budget. On the other hand, an electric pad may be well within reach for many.

Benefits of heat pads

Each type of heating pads serves several purposes, but all have innumerable benefits. The following are some of them:

  • Relieves pain quickly

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Hot And Cold Therapy For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is when cartilage around your joints wears down over time, causing pain and stiffness. If this occurs in the knee, it usually affects both knees, unless its the result of an injury.

There is some evidence that immersing yourself first in hot water, then ice water, then alternating between the two several times is an effective treatment for this kind of pain and discomfort.

This method of alternating is thought to improve circulation, decrease swelling and relieve pain in an injury.

Massaging the knee with ice could also help with osteoarthritis by improving muscle strength, reducing pain and decreasing any swelling.

But the body of evidence available is limited, so more research is needed to find out just how effective heat or cold treatments are for a knee injury.

Hot Or Cold For Muscle And Joint Pain

Knee Pain Relief Tips Including Hot and Cold Therapy

If your weekend warrior activities have your joints and muscles aching or you twisted your ankle in a fall, do you grab an ice pack or a heating pad?

OASIS Medical and Wellness Group recommends posting these tips inside your medicine cabinet or first aid kit so youll always know which strategy is best to alleviate minor aches and pains.

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Whats Better For Knee Pain: Ice Or Heat

I get a lot of people reaching out to me to ask about my best tips for knee pain relief. Luckily, ice and heat are really useful, and can be used as totally natural pain relieving methods for a variety of injuries. Today, we are going to talk about when you should use ice and when you should use heat for each different type of knee pain.

Why The Sensitivity To Something That Isnt Actually Much Of A Threat

Its probably a bug, not a feature our branch of the tree of life is just good at detecting this stuff by accident, a side effect of how our heat transduction works. But nature has made good use of it anyway, as explained by Nature in 2001.24 Plants probably produce capsaicin because it selectively discourages vertebrate predators they mean us, because we happen to be sensitive to the stuff but without deterring more effective seed dispersers, like birds, who happen not to be sensitive to capsaicin.

You cannot irritate a bird with spice. Like honey badger, they just do not care.

So heres a thing that can cause pain not because its a threat, but because it sets off the same receptor that does detect dangerous heat. That makes it really interesting. It means that it feels a lot more harmful than it is, and therefore that context is a major factor in how we experience it.

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Potent But Safe Premium Counter

There are lots of potent but hazardous sources of counter-irritation. Hitting your hand with a hammer would also be an impressively effective counter-irritant, but I dont recommended it.

The discomfort of capsaicin overdose can be shockingly intense while remaining almost perfectly safe . That combo of a strong source of sensation that is also actually safe might make capsaicin a more premium counter-irritant than other options more irritating! More countering!

If capsaicin is a good counter-irritant, it strongly suggests a promising usage strategy: dont just apply capsaicin to the body part that hurts. Apply it in in patches nearby, as well as other patches distributed around your body. Give your body multiple burns to process. I think its quite likely that this strategy would be more efficacious. Naturally this hypothesis has never been tested.

Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain

Thermotherapy Infrared Knee Heating Pad, Pain Relief and ...

1 Minute Read

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.

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If You Answered With Pain In The Knee Joint

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.

If You Answered With Pain In The Muscles

When we talk about pain in the knee muscles what were referring to are the major muscles around the knee joint.

These are called the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The quads are at the front of your thigh, while the hamstrings are at the back of your thigh.

You can see the knee muscles in the image below:

You might want to try alternating between heat and ice on the knee muscles if your main symptom is muscle pain.

If you applied ice alone to your knee muscles, you might get some effective pain relief, but I found that my clients complained of worsening stiffness when they treat their knee muscles with just ice. For this reason, I would suggest you try for the best of both worlds and get the pain relieving effects of ice AND the mobility improvement that heat brings.

The other advantage of trying both is that you will get the chance to feel which one works best for YOU! As everyone is different, its important to take note of how you feel after each treatment.

To use this method:

  • 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
  • Take a hot water bottle
  • Apply it immediately to your knee muscles, where the ice was earlier
  • Keep it there for 15 minutes, then remove
  • Go back to the peas/ice and repeat the process as many times as you need
  • Always look out for any signs of ice or heat burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.

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Heat Wrap Vs Medication

In the study 110 people with kneeosteoarthritis,knee osteoarthritis, one group wore heat wraps on their painful knee for eight hours a day for three consecutive days. A second group wore an unheated wrap.

A third group took ibuprofen for their knee osteoarthritis, and a fourth group took acetaminophen. A fifth group took a placebo pill for comparison.

Those with the heated wrap reported less knee pain and greater flexibility. The heat wraps used in the study were ThermaCare HeatWraps. ThermaCare paid for the research.

In addition, people who wore the heat wrap also reported more knee pain relief than people who took acetaminophen . The heat wrap group also had more flexibility than those who took ibuprofen. The heat wraps were comparable to ibuprofen in terms of knee pain relief.

When it came to knee function, such as tests of sitting down, standing up, and walking 50 feet without pain, the heat wraps and medication did not appear to be any more effective than a placebo. Heat wraps have also been shown to provide more long-lasting relief for low back painmore long-lasting relief for low back pain than over-the-counter pain relievers.

Osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear form of the disease, affects an estimated 20.7 million Americans, mostly after age 45, and is responsible for more than 7 million visits to the doctor per year, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Eighty percent of people with osteoarthritis report some form of limitation in movement or activities.

The Proteins Of Danger

When to use heat or cold for knee pain?

Being an organism is perilous. Every living thing needs to know when its being poked, specifically and especially whether or not it is being done too hard. We also have to know when its too hot or too cold. Pressure and temperature detection are about as elementary as sensation gets. Many simple organisms can do as much, even the ones that have only a single cell.

Extremes of pressure and temperature are usually experienced as an alarm as pain ideally before any damage is done.

Of course we also need to know when its too late and weve actually been damaged nothing is more dangerous than already being hurt . And these receptors are partially involved in that too. For instance, TRPV1 also reacts to inflammation.

Almost everything biology has eighteen jobs.

TRPV1 also detects spice. Which is not threatening, but absolutely can feel like it. But spiciness is not for the birds which is why the plants use it! An explanation of that weird sentence below.

Also: How hot can you take your bath? How can the same pressure be bliss for one person and torture for another? Finally I will track the biological oddity of spicy heat to a cool clinical question: can we exploit the nature of TRPV1 receptors to treat pain?

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Both Hot & Cold Treatments Are Important

People get confused with how ice and heat work to relieve pain and heal. They also get confused with which temperature treatment is better for their injury and how to get the right amount of “ice” or “heat” for effective treatment.

When it comes to using ice and heat for treating knee injuries, it’s important to keep in mind that both ice AND heat are very effective ways to relieve pain and heal. Most people will think one is better over the other from their own experience or what a doctor / physical therapist has previously told them.

The only difference between using ice and heat is that 1 is better for you at a specific time in your healing cycle. Ice is used first, right when you get your injury, to decrease pain / swelling and inflammation. Heat comes later, to increase blood flow circulation and stimulate the body’s healing response.

So which is better?

They’ll ultimately work for you in the same way. Each temperature has its own unique benefits for your knee, and when used togther they provide a powerful advantage to long-term healing. You may already know that ice or heat feels better on your knee, and this could influence your decision too.

The bottom line is that ice and heat are exceptional, natural, pain relievers and healers for your knee injury.

There are cases where some injuries will respond better to 1 temperature over the other. We want to help clear up the confusion so you know which is better and how to get the most from your treatment at home.


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