When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Sciatica
- The pain is not improving after several days or seems to be getting worse.
- If the affected person is younger than 20 years of age or older than 55 years of age and is having sciatica for the first time
- The affected individual presently has cancer or has a history of cancer.
- The affected individual has lost a large amount of weight recently or has unexplained chills and fever with back pain.
- The affected individual is HIV positive or uses IV drugs.
- Someone has trouble bending forward after more than a week or two.
- The affected individual notices weakness is getting more pronounced over time.
Go to a hospitalâs emergency department if any of the following occur along with sciatica.
- The pain is unbearable, despite trying first aid methods.
- The pain follows a violent injury, such as a fall from a ladder or an automobile crash.
- The pain is in the back of the chest.
- The affected individual is unable to move or feel his or her legs or feet.
- The affected individual loses control of his or her bowels or bladder or has numbness in his or her genitals. These may be symptoms of cauda equina syndrome .
- The affected individual has a high temperature .
Relief Strategy #: Go Cold Then Hot
During a flare-up, applying ice packs and/or heat can help bring on-the-spot relief, according to the Cleveland Clinic. At the first jab of pain, reach for a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack. Wrap it in a towel and place it over the area for 20 minutes to ease the pain and inflammation. Do this every two hours.
If the cold isnt bringing you the relief you were hoping for, try a heating pad or hot compress. Again, keep it on the affected area for 20 minutes every two hours. Some people also find relief by alternating between cold and heat.
Relief Strategy #: Take A Stretch Break
Tight muscles can also aggravate the sciatic nerve, says Dr. Dhanani. Doing a few targeted stretches can help open up the muscles surrounding the nerve, in turn relieving some of the pressure.
Two stretches to try:
Knee to Chest: Lie on the floor, either with your legs straight or with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, whichever is more comfortable. Raise one knee toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your hip. You can place your hands on top of your knee or behind your thigh. Hold in this position for 30 seconds. Release, switch legs and repeat.
Seated Figure 4: Sit tall in a chair and cross one leg on top of the other, placing your ankle over the opposite knee. Place your hand on the knee of the crossed leg. Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and gently press on the crossed knee until you feel a stretch in your hips and butt. Hold for 30 seconds. Release, switch legs and repeat.
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Types Of Warm Packs Or Pads
Dampen a towel with warm water.
Put on the affected area to ease muscle spasm.
Be sure to protect any type of heating pad device from coming in directcontact with the skin. Precautions should be taken to avoid burns,especially if you have nerve damage, such as from diabetes or other healthproblems.
When muscles work, chemical byproducts are made that need to be eliminated.When exercise is very intense, there may not be enough blood flow toeliminate all the chemicals. It is the buildup of chemicals that cause muscle ache. Because the blood supply helpseliminate these chemicals, use heat to help sore muscles after exercise.
Thermotherapy For Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
To answer this topic, scientists found and analyzed three studies. Over 170 people with osteoarthritis continue to take their medications but used hot, cold or ice packs/towels with or without massage or no treatment. The studies were not of high quality but this Cochrane review provides the best evidence we have today.
What is thermotherapy and how might it help osteoarthritis of the knee? Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that can affect the hands, hips, shoulders and knees. In OA, the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones breaks down and causes pain and swelling. Thermotherapy involves applying heat or cold to joints to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and can be done with packs, towels, wax, etc. Heat may work by improving circulation and relaxing muscles, while cold may numb the pain, decrease swelling, constrict blood vessels and block nerve impulses to the joint. Thermotherapy can be used in rehabilitation programmes or at home. How well does thermotherapy work? One study showed that massaging with ice for 20 minutes, 5 days a week for 2 weeks, improved muscle strength in the leg, the range of motion in the knee and decreased time to walk 50 feet compared to no treatment.
Another study showed that ice packs for 3 days a week for three weeks improved pain just as well as no treatment.
How safe is it? No side effects were reported in the studies, but in general, studies report that thermotherapy is safe when applied carefully.
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Using Both Heat And Ice
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.
How And When To Use Ice
Actual ice, ice packs and other cold therapies can help reduce knee pain and . Conventional medical wisdom suggests using ice to treat an acute injury or pain that occurs after activity. Put another way: Apply heat before your activity and cold after you return home. Cold can numb pain, decrease swelling, and block nerve impulses to the joint.
A review article summarizing six studies suggests cold therapy can be an effective way to relieve . One study showed that ice massage performed for 20 minutes, 5 days per week, for 2 weeks improved range of motion, function and knee strength among individuals with knee osteoarthritis.
To prepare to perform an ice massage, fill a Styrofoam cup with water and freeze it. When removed, that rounded block of ice fits your hand perfectly for performing knee massage.
Another study found that ice packs used for 3 days per week for 3 weeks improved pain just as well as no treatment. Importantly, there were no side effects seen with cold therapy in any of these studies.
To explore the benefits of cold therapy for knee osteoarthritis:
- Apply a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a gel-filled cold pack to the painful area for about 10 minutes.
- Wrap a towel around a bag of frozen vegetables and place it on sore joints for pain relief. Tip: Frozen peas or other vegetables mold to your body, making them ideally suited for treating knee pain.
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When To Avoid Heat Therapy
Heat treatments are suitable to relieve muscle pain and relax stiff joints but not always advisable. So when is the right time and when do we refrain from using it?
Applying heat treatment after activities and after acute injuries is not recommended. You should not use heat therapy on swollen or bruised areas because there might be bleeding in the tissue. The heat will attract more blood to the swollen area.
Using heat treatment is also not suggested for people with dermatitis, diabetes, and an open wound to mention a few. People suffering from hypertension and heart disease should consult their doctors first before attempting heat therapy.
Heating Pads Are Good For People With Arthritis
Certainly, for people suffering from arthritis the daily pain is a real challenge. Of course, there are many products available which may be able to provide a measure of relief for the pain associated with arthritis. However, using a heating pad is an inexpensive, often very effective, and enjoyable possibility for easing pain.
In addition, when used correctly, a heating pad does not come with any nasty side effects. If you, or someone you know, suffers from arthritis, why not see for yourself whether a heating pad could really make a difference in daily life? It may turn out to be the best thing you ever did!
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Is A Heating Pad Good For Arthritis
What can we do to ease the stiffness and pain caused by arthritis? Many therapists and doctors recommend cold and heat treatments to lessen pain and swelling.
So, is a heating pad good for arthritis? Yes. These therapies trigger your bodys healing abilities.
Arthritis is the swelling of one or more joints and feels painful. Arthritis is typical in overweight people and women alike and can develop at any age.
The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Symptoms may appear suddenly or develop over time.
Heating Massage Knee Wrap For Pain Relief
- Electric Heated Massage Knee Wrap with 7.
- Heating and Vibration Combined-5 Heating & 5 Vibrating SettingsVibration combined with hot therapy offers complete pain relief & relaxation to muscles and reduces stress.
- Adjustable & Easy to Use Reinforced stabilizer ensures the knee cap remains in its proper position, the heating pad can wrap around and be locked at any knee or extend to Thigh/Calf positions where you need heat compress.
- Application- This massage heat knee wrap is used to relieve muscular aches and joint pains associated with overexertion, strains and sprains as well as pains associated with arthritis, meniscus, osteoarthritis, bursitis, ACL PCL MCL tear etc.
- Safety – Built-in thermal protection module.
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When To Apply Heat Therapy
Heat therapies are easy to use and effective in managing the pain. You dont need to take any medications and is quite economical too. You can use heat treatment for continuous conditions to relax your muscles and tissues and let the blood flow naturally.
Heat therapies improve blood circulation, so they can alleviate discomfort and promote muscle flexibility. They can even heal damaged tissues at times. Use local heat therapy for target or specific areas, while regional heat therapy is what you need for a larger area.
You can appease minor muscle pains and joint stiffness within 15 to 20 minutes of hot treatment. While severe or moderate pains need longer heat therapy sessions to achieve your desired result.
Be very cautious when using this kind of treatment since excessive heat and long periods of exposure to the heat may cause burning of the skin. It is always recommended to consult a medical practitioner before conducting treatment.
Yosoo Health Gear Knee Heating Pad
Yosoo knee pad is made of high-quality neoprene material, delivering comfortable, hot therapy for knee arthritis pain and injury rehabilitation. It helps keep the knee warm, and you can also use it on the calves, arms, and thighs. The power button has an LED indicator to adjust to blue for the lowest temperature, red for the highest temperature, and white for medium. The knee wrap comes with a USB power cord and an AC adapter.
- Includes mesh bag for cold therapy
- Easy to use
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Heat Therapy And Cold Therapy Combined For Optimum Effect
For the heating pad treatment to be more effective, the affected joint needs to be treated with the combination of heat therapy and cold therapy. This requires the treatment with heating pads for six times.
When the affected joint is heated, this brings more blood to the area. When it is cooled, it squeezes out blood out of the area. By alternating cold and heat therapy, it significantly increases blood flow to get rid of the pain-causing chemicals.
Always Start On The Lowest Setting
To start, set the heating pad on the lowest setting. For minor aches and pain, a low setting might be more than enough to reduce pain and stiffness. You can gradually increase the intensity of heat, if needed.
There are no hard or fast rules regarding how long to use a heating pad on your back. It all depends on the level of pain and your tolerance to heat. Even so, if you use a heating pad on a high setting, remove after 15 to 30 minutes to avoid burns.
On a low setting, you can use the heating pad for a longer period, maybe up to one hour.
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Why Heat Therapy Helps
If soreness is the main symptom you’re feeling, heat therapy can definitely come to the rescue. Heat helps sore muscles because when you apply heat to a muscle, it opens up the blood vessels in that area 27. This action increases blood flow.
That improved circulation creates both a short-term and long-term effect.The immediate effect is that the heating pad relaxes the muscles, which provides an immediate soothing sensation. In the longer term, heat therapy also accelerates some of your healing, because increased blood flow brings more cells that help repair the area faster.
- If soreness is the main symptom you’re feeling, heat therapy can definitely come to the rescue.
- The immediate effect is that the heating pad relaxes the muscles, which provides an immediate soothing sensation.
What Is Ice Therapy Or Cold Therapy
Ice has traditionally been used to reduce swelling caused by damage to the muscles, ligaments or tendons .
Its believed that ice reduces the tissue temperature and blood flow to the area, which helps to limit the bodys response to the injury, reducing inflammation and bleeding. It can also numb the area, reducing any pain.
For this reason it is thought to be effective in treating new injuries that have acute pain and swelling.
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The Role Of Heating Pad Treatment
Heat has been known to soothe pain and reduce stiffness for many years. It had been applied to injuries and other forms of joint problems. As far as gout is concerned, increasing the heat in the surrounding area of the affected joint can help dilate the blood vessels. This improves blood circulation to accelerate relief from pain. Although not scientifically proven, heat is also thought to help promote the uric acid crystals to be more soluble, thereby dissolving the gout crystals from the tissues. This allows their faster elimination.
To feel the effect of heating pad treatment, it requires at least 15 minutes of application. It is recommended to apply twice a day for prolonged pain. The objective is to provide warmth to the deep tissues to dilate the blood vessels as well as relax the muscles.
Does A Heating Pad Help Arthritis Pain
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Suffering from arthritis can feel like an uphill struggle each and every day. For people who have this painful and chronic condition, they will often try anything to get a little relief from the pain. Does a heating pad help arthritis pain is the question we seek to answer today. With so many available products and cures out there, it can become overwhelming to know what actually works.
In fact, the medical world is full of tablets, medicines, potions, and lotions that promise to ease arthritis pain. It is all too easy to spend a fortune on various products in the hope that you will stumble across the one that will really make a difference in your life.
However, one means of easing arthritis pain is inexpensive, easy to use and may often be overlooked. What are we referring to? Heating pads. Heat has long been known as a therapy for treating pain of various levels, in fact, used the right way heat may be able to make a real difference to the life of someone suffering from arthritic pain. Lets take a look at why heat is such an effective therapy for pain relief.
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Knee Heating Pads Buying Guide
- Size: This is a factor which will have some influence when shopping for the knee heating pads. Basically, the size of the knee pad you are going to purchase will be dependent on the area you wish to get relief. You need to know that some pads can be easily molded to get the size that you want. On a similar note, there are those pads whose size can be easily adjusted to fit on different people.
- Materials: Here is the next factor to keep in mind before making a selection. The materials which have been used in the construction of your pad will obviously make a difference. There are some people who have sensitive skins, if you are among them, make sure that the material selected will be comfortable on your skin.
- Insulation: With regards to this factor, you need to know that there are vast options to go for. There are those pads which will use Infrared technology while others are purely electric. Based on the pain intensity, you need to select the one which gives instant pain relief. All the same, you should never compromise the comfort you get from the pad.