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Is Ice Or Heat Better For Knee Pain

Heat Therapy For Joint Pain

Ice vs. Heat for Knee Pain | Knee Exercises

After a long day, soaking in a steaming shower or bathtub, sipping a cup of hot tea, or cozying up in a warm robe can make you feel comforted and soothed. There’s a reason you reach for heat when you need relief from pain or stress: Heat is relaxing. Stiff, tense, and sore muscles can be relaxed and relieved with a little heat, and joints affected by arthritis pain are no different. Not only does heat relax muscles, it also stimulates blood flow and improves circulation, helps increases range of motion, and reduces stiffness in painful joints.

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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.

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What About Injured Muscle Muscle Strains

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.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention

Is It Better to Heat or Ice a Knee with Arthritis

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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How To Treat Your Knee With Cold Therapy

If you decide to ice your knee you should do this as part of PRICE therapy, which stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

When using ice, you should apply it as soon as possible for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours during the day and for the first 48 to 72 hours.

During this time you should avoid heat, such as hot baths, saunas or heat packs, which may encourage bleeding.

After 48 to 72 hours the aim of any treatment changes from reducing bleeding and swelling to getting the tissues moving with exercise and stretching.

How Does Heat And Cold Help Arthritis Pain

Heat or cold therapy works by stimulating your body’s own healing force. For instance, heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulates blood circulation, and reduces muscle spasms. In addition, heat alters the sensation of pain. You can use either dry heat — such as heating pads or heat lamps — or moist heat — such as warm baths or heated wash cloths.

Conversely, cold compresses reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels. While cold packs may be uncomfortable at first, they can numb deep pain.

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How Does Ice Work

First, we need to understand how each of these treatments work. Lets begin with ice.

Ice has long been thought of as natures pain killer. It has powerful effects on the human body when applied to the skin, some of which we have only recently begun to understand.

Ice has been used for many years as a form of pain relief, and there are accounts of ice being used to treat injuries in the earliest days of mankind.

Ice works through a couple of mechanisms:

  • Ice, when applied to the skin, produces an effect called vasoconstriction in the blood vessels which basically means the small vessels narrow and shut down blood flow to that area. Thats one of the reasons ice is so useful for swelling, such as after an ankle sprain.
  • Ice also has an effect on the nerves around the area, dampening their signals which means we feel naturally less pain with an injury.
  • Ice also encourages a flushing out of the potentially harmful chemicals around an injury site and reduces inflammation.

How To Treat Your Knee With Heat Therapy

Is Ice or Heat Better After Knee Replacement Surgery?

If you decide to use heat to treat your knee, make sure the hot water bottle or heat pack is wrapped in a towel or other material to avoid burns and leave it on the site of your injury for 10-15 minutes. This can be repeated every 2 to 3 hours.

Heat may be helpful if your knee pain is the result of aching muscles from an injury caused by overuse.

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When To Chill And When To Heat

Many of these conditions are treatable with medication as prescribed by your health care provider. And, for other situations, over-the-counter pain relievers may be enough to help. But you still may need further relief so here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding between ice or heat for aching muscles and joints.

Reminder: if any of these conditions are new or dont resolve quickly, be sure to contact your health care provider for more treatment options.

Acute injuries

First of all, do not use heat on acute injuries because that extra heat can increase inflammation and delay proper healing.

When dealing with injuries, its best to predominantly choose ice if the injury is acute . The chill constricts blood vessels which numbs pain, relieves inflammation and limits bruising.

If youre sensitive to cold then ice may initially seem uncomfortable or even painful to apply. Heat can feel warm, cozy and be tempting to toss on an injury, says primary care sports medicine physician Anne Rex, DO. But dont be fooled! Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.

If youre dealing with lingering injuries then its okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints. This is especially helpful to improve range of motion on a joint that maybe isnt moving as well.

Arthritis

Gout flare-ups

Headaches

Muscle strains and sprains

Tendinitis

Tendinosis

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Need Pain Relief While You Work

I have tried heat and cold for my bursitis, but I am still in pain?, you say. Or maybe you need relief to just get through the work day. This is exactly why we created Workvie. Work vie , is for hardworking people like you that may still be working or wanting to get back to work, but your bursitis pain may be getting in the way. Lets face, carrying around ice and heat packs is not very convenient. You may want to try a numbing and anti-inflammatory cream like Workvie® Work Pain Relief System. You can use the cream during your work breaks to get relief throughout the day when you cant apply heat or cold compresses. It has an amazing scent that wont embarrass because nobody wants to smell like grandma.

Workvie is a product brand dedicated to helping people that work with pain.

If your bursitis pain persists for more than two weeks, seek your health care provider as soon as possible.

This article is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor. Please consult with your primary physician.

REFERENCES:

  • Oosterveld, F. G. J., et al. The effect of local heat and cold therapy on the intraarticular and skin surface temperature of the knee. Arthritis & Rheumatology2 : 146-151.
  • Lehmann, Justus F., ed. Therapeutic heat and cold. Williams & Wilkins, 1990.

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Suitable for Sensitive Skin

Our Knee Therapy Formula Isproven To Work

Is Ice or Heat Better for Knee Pain?

It may seem hard to believe, but our Knee TShellz Wraps® is intended to assist you in recovering from your injury by reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain and maximizing blood flow where it’s needed most.

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What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice: What You Should Know

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Should You Use Heat Or Ice For Knee Pain

Should You Use Heat Or Ice For Knee Pain?

According to CDC.gov, Knee pain is prevalent in 18% of the US population. The incidence of knee pain is slightly higher in women than in men. Studies indicate that the pain gets worse with age and that obese and overweight individuals are highly susceptible to it. Other risk factors include osteoarthritis, fractures, overuse, gout and so on. If you dont tackle knee pain early, the joint may degenerate to a level where surgery is the only option for treatment. As you know, knee replacement surgery is ridiculously expensive and complex. You definitely dont want to walk down that path.

Knee pain can cause extreme discomfort and prevent mobility. This has a negative impact on a persons social life and emotional well being. In many cases, it can even prevent the individual from working in certain environments and lead to heavy financial losses. Knee pain is one problem that you must nip in the bud or else it can destroy your life, really! If you think that is an overstatement, ask a person who suffers from chronic pain.

Physiotherapy, compression knee pain wraps, light massage, icing , heating and acupressure are all effective against knee pain IF you do them right. All of these approaches are hassle free and inexpensive. But should you use heat or ice for knee pain? Let us take a closer look at what the science says.

The Benefits of Ice for Knee Pain

The Benefits of Heat for Knee Pain

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What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice

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Should You Use Heat Or A Cold Compress On A Knee Injury

Acute vs Chronic injury treatment, Ice or Heat neck, back, knee, shoulder, ankle pain in Parkland

Last reviewed: Medically reviewed

All of Healthily’s articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

Applying heat and ice to an injury are commonly-used methods to treat pain and reduce swelling. The scientific evidence behind their effectiveness is limited — but some people find it helps.

There is a lot of debate around which method works best as each one has a different approach to treating an injury.

If youve hurt your knee, or your knee joint is painful, it may help to understand what these treatments are and how theyre used, to help you choose which option may work best for you.

A specific trauma to your knee will be treated differently to a long-term knee condition .

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When Not To Use Cold Or Heat Packs:

  • If you have areas of skin with open wounds or rashes.
  • If you have areas of skin with poor sensation to heat or cold.
  • If you have areas of the body with known poor circulation.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have an infection under your skin.

If the treatment hasnt helped much with regular use, or makes your pain worse, see your doctor to discuss other treatment options. Its also important to call your doctor if you develop any bruising or skin changes while using cold or heat therapy.

/9ice Vs Heat Therapy

We all are prone to suffer from pain and injuries from time to time. Either it is due to sitting for hours at the desk or is caused after an intense workout session. Any of these can lead to discomfort in your back, knees, and other major joints making you restless. Most of the people reach out for balm or painkillers for some relief, but another way to get rid of pain is heat or cold compression. Using ice or heat on inflammation or joint pain is far better than popping pills and you can easily do it at home. The tricky part is when to apply hot and when to apply cold compression on your area of concern.

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