Tuesday, September 20, 2022
HomeExclusiveIs Ice Or Heat Better For Arthritic Knee Pain

Is Ice Or Heat Better For Arthritic Knee Pain

When Should You Use Cold To Treat Your Knee Pain

Ice vs. Heat for Knee Pain | Knee Exercises

Cold compression works 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 you’ve been suffering for some time with a chronic knee 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 you’ve been on your feet, active in athletics, or performing any other tasks that has put a lot of weight or stress on your knee. When used at this time cold compression becomes a natural / organic pain reliever, treating the site where you feel the pain.

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 painrelievernot a soft tissue healer.

We put milk in the fridge so it will stay fresh longer. We do this so it will stay in the same condition as when we bought it. Your injury is no different. Too much cold will keep your injury in the same state – slowing down the healing process. This can sometimes make chronic injuries linger even longer. Heat should be used when you suffer from a chronic, tight or stiff knee injury and after you reduce swelling, pain and inflammation with cold.

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

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.

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.

Also Check: Cellulite Above Knees

Using Heat Or Ice For Knee Pain

Depending on the situation, both ice and heat can be effective and convenient options for easing the pain in your knees. Because each treatment affects your leg in different ways, however, it is important to consider your specific condition before selecting one or the other. By better understanding the benefits and risks of each treatment, you can appropriately choose the option that is right for you.

Which Types Of Heat Therapy Help Arthritis Pain

Is Heat Or Ice Better For Knee Pain

You can choose from the following popular types of heat therapy for arthritis pain:

  • disposable heat patches or belts available at most drugstores
  • hot packs
  • moist heating pad
  • therapeutic mixture of paraffin and mineral oil
  • warm bath
  • warm whirlpool or hot tub
  • warm, moist towel or cloth

You may also sit on a stool that has rubber tips for safety while letting the warm shower hit the affected area. The constant heat flowing on the arthritic joint or pain site helps to keep pain minimal and allows for easier movement.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots On Knees

Ice Or Heat: Which Is Best For A Swollen Knee

by The ViscoGen Team | Jul 23, 2019 | knee |

Knee pain is one of the most common and debilitating joint issues, affecting millions of people on a daily basis. Whether the pain is caused by an acute injury like a tear or overuse, or its the result of too much weight or regular wear and tear, there are a number of structures in the knee joint itself that can be the source of the pain. Weve all heard of icing for pain, but sometimes, heat is a much better source of relief. When it comes to painful, swollen knee treatments, which is best, ice or heat?

What’s Better To Treat Your Knee: Ice Or Heat

Ice and heat are the best treatment combination for you if:

  • You’re looking to boost the natural power of pain relief and healing in your body.
  • You don’t want to repeatedly pay the cost of injections, medications, hospital visits or surgery.
  • You want to help reduce the risk of re-injury, pain or swelling in your knee.
  • You want to control your own treatment and healing at home, on your own time.
  • You’re looking for a tried, tested, and true method of healingthat’s been used for centuries and has worked for countless other knee pain sufferers.

How to Use Superior Temperature Treatments to Heal & Relieve Pain from Your Knee Injury!

Combining cold and warmth is a simple yet effective way to get immediate pain relief and promote long-term healing. In your lifetime you’ve probably had your mom, family doctor, nurse, surgeon or physical therapist tell you to use ice right after you’re injured and something warm from time to time once the swelling’s gone down. It’s a simple yet very effective way to relieve pain and promote healing in your knee.

Knee injuries can happen to anyone, right now there are thousands of doctors and physical therapists dealing with patients that require a solution to treat their knee injury fast and heal it .

You May Like: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee

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.

Cold Therapy Machine Cryotherapy Freeze Kit System For Post

Is Ice or Heat Better After Knee Replacement Surgery?

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

  • PATENTED KNEE PAIN RELIEF: Targeting both the front and back of the knee with adjustable compression and hot or cold therapy, the Vive cold knee brace effectively reduces swelling, pain and inflammation due to muscle fatigue, injury or surgery. The soft knee brace also provides comfortable relief for sprains and strains, ACL, arthritis, sports injuries, surgery and more.
  • HOT OR COLD THERAPY: Includes three removable Arctic Flex gel packs for hot or cold therapy. Each pack easily slips into one of three pockets. Two pockets are located on the front of the knee brace and one behind the knee for targeted relief. The nontoxic gel packs are reusable, leakproof and latex-free.
  • FLEXIBLE FIT: Secured with a strong fastener system with four adjustable straps, the versatile knee brace fits knee circumferences up to 21. Suitable for both men and women, the soft brace can be worn on the left or right knee.
  • BREATHABLE NEOPRENE BLEND: Machine washable for added convenience, the knee wrap is made from a lightweight neoprene blend. Latex-free, the blend is soft and breathable for exceptional comfort.
  • VIVE GUARANTEE: 60 day guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Features

as of December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Read Also: Inversion Table After Hip Replacement

Heat And Cold Therapy For Arthritis Pain

Is there anything you can do about the pain and stiffness of arthritis? Perhaps youve heard that heat or cold therapy can help relieve pain and are wondering if its worth giving them a try. Well, it is.

Many arthritis doctors recommend both heat and cold treatments to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis. It may take a little trial and error to learn which therapy works best for your pain. But by staying with it, you may find the right combination of hot packs and ice packs to get the most relief from pain and make it easier to manage arthritis. If pain persists, be sure to talk with your doctor.

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.

Read Also: Can Knee Replacement Cause Neuropathy

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.

Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain

Pin on ABCs

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.

Don’t Miss: What Causes Your Knee To Lock Up

What Does Warmth And Warming Better Help With

Arthritis. Any chronic pain in joints and muscles, because heat increases blood flow.

Headache. Only if it is accompanied by spasms in the neck area the heat relaxes the muscles.

Sprains of muscles and ligaments. It helps well against numbness, however, heat compresses and heating pads can be used only after the body and medications have coped with the inflammation, otherwise you can make things worse.

Tendinosis a chronic feeling of numbness in the tendons near the ligaments. Heat fights well with it.

fever is good in all cases when the pain or injuries are chronic and they are at least a month and a half. The heat increases the blood flow, which relaxes the muscles and ligaments.

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.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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.

Also Check: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows

Heat Or Ice For Pinched Nerve & 7 More Ways To Help

A pinched nerve can cause irritating pain and discomfort. It is usually evident by a tingling or numbing feeling that comes and goes, getting worse over time. The condition is caused by nerve damage brought on by pressure for an extended period or trauma to the area. However, it can also occur if you have a herniated disc, arthritis and other various conditions. Luckily, therere ways to help manage the pain and bring some relief.

Has Knee Pain Impacted Your Daily Activities

When to use heat or cold for knee pain?

ViscoGen is Orlandos leader in non-surgical knee pain treatment! Our goal is to help our patients return to an active, healthy lifestyle by reducing or eliminating pain using innovative, effective techniques with little-to-no downtime. Considering surgery for your knee pain? Contact us today for an appointment to review your options first!

Recommended Reading: Lighten Knees Overnight

A Summary Of How Ice & Heat Affect Your Blood Flow

Imagine you’re standing in your living room at home. When the air in that room is at normal room temperature , your body is in a comfortable state. Your heart rate and blood pressure are normal .

Imagine the air has cooled down to freezing…

When the room becomes cooler your heart rate begins to slow down and your blood pressure increases. Your body does this automatically to retain heat in your body. At this time your soft tissue will also start to squeeze on and contract all of the veins in your body carrying blood flow. This also helps to decrease the amount of blood flowing throughout your circulatory system and retains the heat.

When cold is applied to a knee injury, all of your soft tissue will squeeze on the veins to slow down your blood flow. This in turn clamps down on the amount of fluid leaking into your injured tissue, decreasing your swelling. This is why cold is used immediately to treat newer knee injuries or re-injuries. The cold slows down your body to stop the amount of damage happening to your tissue and decrease your swelling. This cold also has a nice side benefit of numbing the nerves in and around your knee injury thereby decreasing your pain.

In the medical world this is something called ‘Vasoconstriction’.

Now, imagine the air has warmed up enough that you start sweating…

When the room becomes warmer your heart rate speeds up and your blood pressure decreases. Your body is trying to increase your blood flow to cool down your body.

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles