How Does Heat Work
When I say heat, what I mean is a warm compress, hot water bottle or wheat cushion applied to an area of skin around an injury. You could also get these effects from a hot bath or shower, but this would be a less targeted way of treating your knee.
Heat works roughly in the opposite way that ice works. It, too, has a number of effects to the body when applied around an injury:
- Heat causes an effect called vasodilation to the blood vessels around an area which means a widening of the vessels, increasing blood flow to an injured site. You wouldnt want to use heat on a recently sprained ankle
- Heat doesnt affect the nerves like ice does, but it does increase healthy blood flow to an area, which can speed up healing in some injuries . It also helps to flush away the nasties within the blood that invade an injured area.
- Heat has an effect on the surrounding muscles and joints whereby it loosens them up by making the soft tissues more elastic. This basically means you get more flexibility in a body part just by heating it up! Try to stretch a muscle in the cold, then try to stretch the same muscle after a hot shower youll find you can stretch much further after the heat treatment.
When Not To Use Heat For Pain
While the use of heat can be beneficial for pain treatment, there are also situations when heat should not be used for pain treatment. Heat is best for injuries or conditions that are not in the acute phase. In other words, don’t use heat on a fresh injury: you could increase swelling, which in some cases could increase your overall level of discomfort. In these cases, ice is a better choice. Also, you shouldn’t apply heat to irritated skin or open wounds . Finally, people with cancer should not use heat to treat pain, as there is a chance of increased tumor growth.
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.
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Apple Cider Vinegar And Other Foods
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis and other types of pain.
However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this. The Arthritis Foundation refers to ACV as a food myth.
Other popular advice for arthritis includes:
- consuming collagen, gelatin, or pectin, and raw foods.
- avoiding dairy, acidic foods, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant
There is no evidence to suggest that these are helpful or even advisable.
It commonly affects teenagers, especially young female athletes. It is the most common overuse syndrome in sportspeople.
Most cases of front knee pain are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away on their own, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides.
The pain varies but tends to:
- be a dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- produce clicking or other sounds
- come on when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- produce a weakness in the legs
Recommended treatments for front knee pain include:
When To Use Heat For Pain
Heat can be used to relieve pain caused by chronic conditions of the muscles and joints. Such chronic conditions include:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle stiffness
Because heat has a pain-relieving effect when applied to the skin, it can also be used for other chronic pain conditions as well. In fact, many people in our therapy clinic request heat for nerve pain conditions as well as back pain caused by disk problems. There is little research evidence to suggest that using heat improves these conditions however, many patients still find the use of heat comforting.
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Heat In A Tube: Mild Spice Therapy
Ointments and balms like Tiger Balm, RUB A535, Deep Heat, Zostrix and many others are not actually hot, but literally feel like it, because they stimulate the TRPV1 receptors that also respond to scalding heat.
Other than contextual clues, our nervous systems literally have no way of telling the difference. A little capsaicin feels like a mild burn, like the early stages of a sunburn.
That can feel nice to us.
These burning sensations are widely regarded as therapeutic! The rationale for this is not immediately obvious, and the popularity of these remedies precedes our comprehension of TRPV1 ion channels by most of human history. But its also still not clear that we understand if or why they are helpful.
They can feel nice though. They are indeed warming. And humans do like a bit of that. Heat rarely works miracles for any kind of pain but I would also never want to give it up as an option. Mild spice therapy is perfectly justifiable in that spirit.
How And When To Use Heat
Heating pads, warm baths, and other heat-based treatments tend to be best before activity. Applying heat to your knee before you hop on the treadmill or head out on a shopping excursion will improve blood flow, relax your muscles, and prime your joints for action.
Wrap a moist heating pad in a towel and place it over your knee or knees for 15 – 20 minutes before exercise. For a do-it-yourself heating pad, place a wet washcloth in a freezer bag and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Electric heating pads are another option for treating knee pain, provided they are not too hot.
Other ways to tap into the healing effects of heat include:
- Warming your clothes in the dryer before getting dressed.
- Turning your electric blanket up for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
There is one caveat to keep in mind when using heat therapy: Do not burn yourself. Avoid this by using heating pads for less than 20 minutes at a time and filling heating bottles with hotnot boilingwater.
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Top 10 Ways To Reduce Knee Arthritis Pain
Knee arthritis pain is a common problem.
Approximately 11% of people over the age of 64 have arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is when there is wear and tear of the bones and cartilage of the knee.
In knee arthritis, the cartilage that lines the knee joint thins, while the bone underneath thickens. This produces bony spurs known as osteophytes, which makes the joint surface all bumpy rather than being nice and smooth and flat. This often results in knee pain and stiffness
Here are the top 10 things you can do to reduce arthritis knee pain and improve how the knee moves.
Hot Or Cold Therapy For A Sports Injurywhen To Use Each
Ice your knee. Apply heat to your back. When youre in pain from a sports injury, you want to find the most effective means to relieve the pain, calm the symptoms and get you back in action. Both cold and heat can be effective for doing that, but not at the same time. Heres how to know which one is best to use for your injury and when.
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Data Collection And Analysis
The above search strategy identified a set of potentially relevant articles which were subsequently retrieved for review. These trials were assessed by two independent reviewers . Studies were selected to include in the review according to the inclusion criteria.
From each included trial, we collected information regarding the trial design, patient characteristics, dosages and treatment periods, baseline and end of study outcomes. Data concerning details of the studied population, intervention and outcomes were extracted using predetermined extraction forms by two independent reviewers . Differences in data extraction were resolved by referring back to the original article and establishing consensus. A third reviewer was consulted to help resolve differences. When necessary, information was sought from the authors of the primary studies.
This review was originally conducted to develop clinical practice guidelines for OA. They were adopted by a Panel of Experts: The Ottawa Panel on March 2003
Statistic analysis Outcomes were continuous in nature . Where pooling of data from different trials was possible, these outcomes were analyzed by a weighted mean difference using a fixed effects model. For dichotomous data, relative risks were used. The effect measured in an individual trial is weighted by the amount of variability about the mean in that study for that outcome. Graphical data were used in cases where table data were not available.
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.
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Cold Therapy For Joint Pain
When arthritis pain causes a sensation of burning, cool it off with cold applying an ice pack or even a bag of frozen vegetables can help to numb areas affected by joint pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation, a major cause of arthritis joint pain and stiffness. Placing a cold pack on a swollen joint can also help bring it back down to size, which will also lessen joint pain.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention
While ice and heat therapy are a good way to give yourself some regular low-effort pain relief and can be a regular and important part of your self-care toolkit its a good idea to call your doctor if you experience new or worsening joint pain.
This includes situations in which ice or heat previously worked well enough to relive your symptoms but doesnt anymore, Dr. Bose says. If youre not getting relief, it should trigger a warning bell, she says. Maybe theres something deeper inside, or this might need more systemic treatment rather than topical.
These symptoms might mean your medications and other therapies arent working as well as theyre supposed to. It could indicate that your arthritis is progressing, Dr. Bose says. Either way, its better to know.
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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!
Piezo1 And Piezo2 Use The Force
Piezo1 and Piezo2 both react to the flexing of the cell membranes in which they are thickly embedded, like rhinestones on an Elvis impersonator. The deformation of the cell membrane is a microcosm of a thumb pressing into your skin, which bends the membranes of the nerve cells in the area, opening millions of Piezo1 and Piezo2 proteins, so that kajillions of ions can pass through them, triggering nerve impulses.
This is scientific reductionism at its most dazzling, revealing the exotic nano-scale engines that power familiar human experiences, the answer at the end of a chain of childs but why questions.
The thumb bends the skin, flexing the membranes of every cell in the area. Proteins embedded in the cell membranes, Piezo1 & Piezo2, transduce the flexion into nerve impulses.
But they also power un-familiar human experiences! What we consciously feel thanks to the Piezo proteins is the tip of a mighty iceberg of subtle sensation. The biological power and utility of these engines is breathtaking. They are responsible not just for the pressure component of touch, but a truly staggering variety of other biological signals, from knowing when your bladder is full to the position of your limbs are in space to which direction your eyes are pointing.
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Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp Review
Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp is an excellent option for those looking to treat larger parts of the body such as the back and thighs. It can also be used for treating bronchial congestion caused by colds.
The lamps heat helps improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and can heal muscle pain. The lamp can be tilted to target other areas of the body including, shoulders, knees, legs, and arms. The tilt function is one that I certainly love as it helps to reach those hard to reach areas.
In comparison to the Tendlite and the DPL Flex Pad, the Beurer infrared heat lamp is quite different.
The Beurer Infrared Heat Lamps heat zone is quite large with dimensions of 11.8 inches by 15.7 inches. To use it simply position the lamp in the direction of the target area. You can set the treatment duration from 1 minute to 15 minutes depending on the area being treated. You should use the device on the target area several times a day.
Is the heat lamp near or far infrared?. If you dont even know what they mean, its just basically a measurement 1n nano-meters . Near infrared having a nm frequency of 800 to 1400nm. Far is from 3000nm onwards. This device has a maximum of 2500nm. So its mid range. What this means is that it pentetrates deeper into the body than near infrared, but not quite as far as far infrared.
An Example: How Capsaicin Might Help A Problem Like Tendinitis
This is how I rationalized using capsaicin on my own Achilles tendinitis:
But the burning of the capsaicin was just too severe and too weird with its timing, surging in the middle of the night so I gave up after only a couple of days. I probably didnt get to the downregulated and desensitized part.
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So Do You Use Heat Or Ice For Knee Pain
The answer to this question depends on the main problem you have, as well as the location of the pain around your knee.
The first question to ask yourself is this: Is my main problem PAIN or STIFFNESS?
The second question is: Is my main problem area my MUSCLES or my JOINT?
Lets talk about each scenario one by one
Should I Use Heat Or Ice For Acute Injuries
If the new injury is red, swollen, or inflamed, then cooling the injury may help prevent inflammation. For example, if your pain stems from a muscle injury, treat it immediately with RICE — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest the injured body part and then apply ice. You can use an ice pack or a pack of frozen vegetables or fruit for 20 minutes. Then take it off for 20 minutes. Add compression with a firm elastic bandage. Elevate the injured part to keep swelling to a minimum.
Before using moist heat or ice therapy, be sure your skin is dry and free from cuts and sores. If you have visible skin damage, don’t use cold or heat. And always protect your skin with a towel. After using heat or cold, gently move the arthritic joint to reduce stiffness.
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Appendix 1 Medline Search Strategy
1 exp osteoarthritis/ 2 osteoarthritis.tw. 3 osteoarthrosis.tw. 4 degenerative arthritis.tw. 5 exp arthritis, rheumatoid/ 6 rheumatoid arthritis.tw. 7 rheumatism.tw. 8 arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid/ 9 caplan’s syndrome.tw. 10 felty’s syndrome.tw. 11 rheumatoid.tw. 12 ankylosing spondylitis.tw. 13 arthrosis.tw. 14 sjogren$.tw. 15 or/114 16 heat/tu 17 .tw. 18 cryotherapy.sh,tw. 19 .tw. 20 exp hyperthermia, induced/ 21 .tw. 22 .tw. 23 or/1522 24 clinical trial.pt. 25 randomized controlled trial.pt. 26 tu.fs. 27 dt.fs. 28 random$.tw. 29 placebo$.tw. 30 adj ).tw 31 sham.tw. 32 or/2431 33 23 and 32