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Is Heat Or Ice Better For Arthritic Knees

What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice

What’s better for soothing Arthritis Pain? Ice or Heat? | Apollo Hospitals

Im incredibly sorry for the delay.

The full detailed video on What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice is now out:

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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.

Cochrane Review: Thermotherapy Versus Cryotherapy

A Cochrane Review assessed three randomized, controlled clinical trials involving 179 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Patients were allowed to continue taking their medications but also used hot, cold, or ice packs and towels, with or without massage. They were compared to a control group receiving no treatment. Reviewers looked for outcomes of pain relief, reduction of edema/swelling, and improvement of knee flexion , range of motion, and function. Here are the results of the Cochrane Review:

  • The first of the three studies revealed that massaging with ice for 20 minutes a day, five days a week, for two weeks improved muscle strength in the leg, improved range of motion in the knee, and resulted in less time needed to walk 50 feet, compared to the control group.
  • The second study showed that knee osteoarthritis patients using ice packs for three days a week for three weeks had no significant improvement in pain compared to patients receiving no treatment.
  • The third study indicated that cold packs applied to the knee for 20 minutes, ten times, resulted in decreased swelling compared to the control group who received no treatment. Hot packs used for the same amount of time had the same effect on swelling as the control group who received no treatment.

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If You Answered With Stiffness In The Knee Muscles

Heat, heat and more heat. Honestly, the best results Ive seen come when someone has applied heat to the knee muscles to allow better movement and less of that horrible cant-bend-your-knee sensation.

For best effects, use this method:

  • Start sitting in a chair
  • Take a hot water bottle
  • Slip it over your thigh and apply it to the stiffest area
  • Keep it there for 15 minutes, then remove
  • Allow the skin to cool to a natural temperature, then repeat the process
  • Always look out for any signs of heat burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.

When To Use Cold On A Meniscus Injury:

Is It Better to Heat or Ice a Knee with Arthritis

A Cold Compress or Ice Pack work best to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation for new injuries, re-injury and during immediate post surgery recovery. Cold therapy should also be used during the first 24 72 hours of treatment, combined with resting your injury.

If youve been suffering for some time with a chronic meniscus injury you should only use cold after activity causes you more pain or triggers more inflammatory response symptoms . This would be when your knee starts to hurt at the end of the day after youve been on your feet, active in athletics, or performing any other tasks that has put a lot of weight or stress on your menisci. When used at this time cold compression becomes a natural / organic pain reliever, treating the site where you feel the pain.

COLD is used to treat injuries or conditions that are red, hot, inflamed, swollen and suffering from tissue damage . Cold therapy is a natural / organic pain reliever that numbs pain right at the source of your injury. While doing this, the cold also stops tissue break-down and reduces the amount of scar tissue forming .

In the medical world this is something called Vasoconstriction.

Sometimes we feel pain while doing a certain activity should you still use cold? Too much cold therapy can reduce your ability to heal correctly, because cold is a short term pain reliever not a deep tissue healer.

Cold should be used:

Here are a couple of examples for when to use cold :

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What Type Of Injury Do You Have

The type of treatment needed depends on the type of injury you have. Not if its your ankle or elbow, but whether the injury is acute or chronic. An acute injury is one that occurred in the last 48 hours. In athletes, this usually results from a fall or collision. A chronic injury is one that develops slowly, usually through overuse or because a previous injury has not healed properly. Think of how you may feel knee pain when you run more than 5 miles, ever since you had a bout of tendinitis. Chronic pain might not make you inactive, but it is nagging and bothersome.

The Donts Of Applying Hot Packs For Arthritis

  • Now, it isnt difficult to guess that heat can make acute inflammation worse. Heat should NOT be applied in acute pain, acute injuries, and in bleeding, even when these occur to an arthritic joint. Applying heat to a fresh injury will only worsen the pain.
  • Do not use heat if you have any open wounds or substantial bruises
  • Not recommended for patients with diabetes

Note: Tiger balms and other capsaicin-containing topical ointments are only spicy that is they make you feel hot they do not increase heat physiologically. They distract our mind from pain they do not affect pain.

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When Should I Have A Knee Replacement

Great question !! The person in the examining room who determines when you should have a knee replacement is you. This is predominantly a quality of life procedure. Therefore only you can determine if your quality of life is affected enough that you are willing to assume the significant risks associated with joint replacement surgery. If a surgeon tells you to have knee replacement surgery simply because you have bone on bone changes on your Xrays, then you are in the wrong physicians office.

Disclaimer: this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

What About Injured Muscle Muscle Strains

Ice vs. Heat for Knee Pain | Knee Exercises

If youre supposed to ice injuries, but not muscle pain, then what do you do with injured muscles ? That can be a tough call, but ice usually wins but only for the first few days at most, and only if it really is a true muscle injury. A true muscle injury usually involves obvious trauma during intense effort, causing severe pain suddenly. If the muscle is truly torn, then use ice to take the edge off the inflammation at first. Once the worst is over, switch to heat.

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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.

Cold Packs Reduce Inflammation

Acute-on-chronic pain from arthritis is associated with some internal inflammation and ice application may help temporarily numb the pain. However, prolonged use is not recommended. Here are some benefits of cold application for pain.

  • Cold pack may soothe acute inflammation, signs of which are redness, heat, and swelling. Ice packs are a non-toxic way of alleviating acute pain, though temporarily.
  • Application of ice packs after intra-articular injections is advised to decrease post-injection pain.
  • Use ice packs for injuries or inflammation of ligaments and tendons and in cases of sprains and bruises
  • Ice packs may help alleviate the pain of degenerative arthritis where the pain is not from inflammation but degeneration. However, there is limited evidence for such a use.

Apply for about 15-20 minutes for mild pain and/or stiffness and repeat after a 30-minute interval.

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If You Answered With Stiffness In The Knee Joint

If stiffness in the knee joint was a persons main symptom, providing there isnt much swelling and their pain levels are generally low, I would opt for applying heat to the affected knee joint.

This would encourage better mobility for the knee joint and let you walk further and stand more easily.

To use this technique, follow this method:

  • Start sitting comfortably
  • Take a hot water bottle
  • Apply it immediately to your stiff knee
  • Keep it there for 15 minutes, then remove
  • Allow the skin to cool to a natural temperature, then repeat the process
  • Always look out for any signs of heat burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.

When To Use Ice For Joint Pain

Aches, injuries and pains, oh my! It

For the most part, ice is appropriate to use within 48 hours of an acute injury or a flare-up of joint pain that comes with inflammation, experts explain. Examples include tendinitis, bursitis, soft tissue injuries, and inflamed joints, Dr. Bose says.

How to Use Ice for Joint Pain

The rule of thumb for icing down an inflamed area is up to 10 minutes on, followed by about 10 minutes off, several times if needed. Dont put ice or a cold pack directly on the skin, unless the cold pack has a built-in barrier, to prevent skin damage. Pay attention to how your body is responding to the cold. Listen to your body, Dr. Bose says. I tell my patients: Use an ice pack, put it on the knee, and once it starts getting uncomfortable, give it a break.

Types of Ice Therapy

You have a lot of options when it comes to icing a joint. At-home solutions like filling a plastic bag with ice cubes and a little water, using a bag of frozen vegetables, or putting a damp towel in the freezer are time-tested for a reason. You can purchase gel packs and other types of cold packs at drugstores or supermarkets. Whatever method you choose, use something large enough to cover the whole area where the pain is located, Dr. Smith says.

Safety with Ice Therapy

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Use Heat And Cold To Ease Arthritic Joints

When arthritic joints become stiff or painful, we explain how and when to use the application of heat and cold for arthritis for simple, effective relief.

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in our country. More than 50 million Americans are affected by this disease. This number that represents one out of every five adults and approximately 300,000 children. People of all ages and races are vulnerable to this joint-disabling condition. It is most common among women, and our chance of developing arthritis increases as we age.

Because there is currently no cure for arthritis, many people are under the impression that there is nothing they can do to manage their symptoms. In fact, medicine offers many helpful treatments for arthritis. Some therapies help with pain, and others improve the function of affected joints. In some cases, early treatments can actually slow the progress of the disease. Below we demonstrate how best to use heat and cold for arthritis.

Q: Which Will Work Better For My Painful Arthritic Joints Heat Or Cold

A: Applying heat or cold to a painful area is a simple, inexpensive method for relieving pain. Cold reduces swelling and numbs the area. Heat loosens up muscles, increases flexibility and increases circulation. For an acute injury, such as a pulled muscle or injured tendon, the usual recommendation is to start by applying ice to reduce inflammation and dull pain. Once inflammation has gone down, heat can be used to ease stiffness.

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For a chronic pain condition, such as osteoarthritis, heat seems to work best. However, some people find that cold also helps to dull the pain.

So whats the answer? Try them both and use whichever works best for you.

Exercise is an important part of treatment for osteoarthritis. Heat and cold can also be used to make exercising a little easier. Try using heat before exercise to loosen up muscles and cold afterwards to minimize any achiness.

For heat, soak in a warm bath, hot tub or whirlpool for about 20 minutes. Or take a warm shower. Dress warmly afterwards to prolong the benefit. A heating pad is another good way to warm up an area. You can also buy moist heat pads. Or, heat a damp washcloth in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Test it to make sure its not too hot. Wrap it in a dry towel and apply it to the painful area.

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Is Ice Better Than Heat Is Heat Better Than Ice

Ideal uses of ice and heat are roughly equal in potency which isnt very potent. Neither is strong medicine. Some experiments have shown that both have only mild benefits, and those benefits are roughly equal in treating back pain.7 The reason to use them is not that they are highly effective treatments they rarely are but because they are so cheap, easy, and mostly safe, especially compared to many other popular treatments.8

How To Treat Joint Pain

Is Ice or Heat Better After Knee Replacement Surgery?

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.

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Use A Cold Compress Or Ice Pack:

  • 24 to 72 hours after your initial knee injury or when you first notice pain and swelling to stop tissue damage, relieve pain, and .
  • After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
  • Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
  • Anytime you feel your knee is tender, painful or you’re having a flare-up of an older knee injury.
  • Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in your knee.
  • Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your knee.

Causes Of Knee Arthritis

Knowing the risk factors may help prevent arthritis pain, though not all are avoidable. One of the most common reasons for an increase in the prevalence of knee arthritis is the increase in the aging population.

Some individuals are genetically more vulnerable to the condition. Females are also at higher risk of painful knee conditions.

Among the preventable risk factors are obesity, trauma, muscle weakness, frequent sprains and strains, mechanical stress on the joints, wrong posture while working, too much kneeling and squatting.

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