Ice Vs Heat For Treating Your Knee Injury
When dealing with a knee injury it’s hard to know what treatment will work best for you. You might be wondering if ice and heat will work for you. Or maybe even which will work better – ice OR heat.
Icing and heating are 2 of the most natural treatment options available. Compared to medications, surgery and other treatment methods – icing and heating have been around for centuries and have always been used for knee injury healing as a means to soothe and heal.
We understand that it can get pretty confusing to figure out what conservative treatment method will work best with all of the treatment options available to you today. To get started, you should think about the benefits you’ll get from using these therapies.
Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why Does My Knee Hurt When It’s Cold Out
Winter’s almost here, and in traditional Midwestern style, we’ve had a mix of fall-like weather, alternating with cold, damp weather, and often within 24-48 hours of each other. With the colder weather that has been here, and particularly the rapid changes in weather patterns, we’ve had a number of patients come in with complaints of knee pain wondering, “Why does my knee hurt when it’s cold out?” More importantly, they want to know if it’s something they have to just learn to live with, or if there’s something that they can do to keep their knees from hurting when it’s cold out.
Watch the video below to learn tips on what to do before, during, and after going to bed at night to help you knee your knee from hurting when it’s cold out…
Tips To Help Keep Your Knees From Hurting When It’s Cold Out
At night or while you are sleeping, you aren’t moving and you’re staying stationary. Which means, your blood isn’t flowing like it does during the day when you are actively moving. Right before bedtime, you want to allow your body to wind down and allow it to get in resting mode.
If you go to bed with stiff muscles, you’ll wake up with even stiffer muscles! Doing exercises or stretches before bed to help loosen up your knees will help keep your knees from hurting at night, and it won’t take you 30 minutes to “warm up” in the morning before you feel like you can get your day started.
In addition, use the tips below to keep your knees from hurting at night when it’s cold out.
Buy A Really Good Snowsuit
Think puffy snowsuits are just for kids? Turns out they are ideal for arthritis patients as well, Amy S. says. I have a down coat that I bought from Lands End that has a hood and goes almost to my ankles, as well as fleece-lined snow pants, and I wear them any time Im going to be outdoors in the cold for more than a few minutes, she says. Do I look ridiculous loading my groceries into my car? Probably. Do I care? Nope. Sometimes I even wear them in my house. Keeping my joints warm is everything.
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The Cold Air From The Air Conditioner Make My Knees Ache It Is Not Until I Cover Them With A Blanket That The Pain Goes Away What Can Be The Cause
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Our Knee Therapy Formula Isproven To Work
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.
Here at MendMyKnee we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at MendMyKnee has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 – Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, I encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
- Guarantee #2 – You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any product from us. MendMyKnee Advisers and Product Specialists are available 5 days a week by toll free phone 1-866-237-9608 or to answer your questions or concerns.
- Guarantee #3 – Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
- Guarantee #4 – All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
- Guarantee #5 – You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.
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Knee Pain After Running In Cold Weather
Have you ever gone on a long run in the middle of winter only to be sidelined by knee pain? If you suspect your knee pain is brought on by cold weather, youre likely not mistaken. While joint pain can sometimes be a sign of injury or an underlying health condition, cold weather can cause joint pain as well.
Read on to learn why cold weather can cause knee pain, as well as how you can treat your symptoms and prevent them in the future so youll never get sidelined on a cold-weather run again.
So What Steps Can We Make To Help
- Stay active during the winter months and keeping your spirits high and feeling positive.
- Consider indoor activities such as dancing, sports clubs, indoor tennis, indoor cricket and indoor football, swimming, or simply going to the gym or a Pilates class.
- Wrap up dry and warm. Advances in fabric technologies mean that nowadays many sports can be performed all year round, e.g. running and cycling, without fear of getting cold or wet.
- Plan ahead. Its often easy to opt for staying in the warm when its dark, wet and cold outside, so make sure you fill your calendar with lots of activities, indoor or outdoor, to keep you active. Arranging to exercise with friends makes you more likely to stick to your plans. Why not even treat yourself to an active winter break or spa weekend to reward yourself?
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When Should You Use Cold To Treat Your Knee Pain
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 :
How Changing Weather Causes Pain
Many think its due to higher humidity accompanied by falling barometric pressure the weight of air pressing on our planet and on us. Decreasing pressure means air presses less on our bodies. That allows tissues to swell slightly, and its possible the resulting enlargement of tissues irritates the joints.
Cooler temperatures dont help. Cold can make muscles, ligaments and joints stiffer and more painful.
When barometric pressure and temperature fall and humidity rises, patients will complain of more aches and pains, he says. Damp cold seems to exacerbate pain.
But Dr. Bolash also says its more the change in pressure, temperature and humidity that could trigger discomfort. Especially the speed at which these changes occur.
Reporting is also key here, as it may be the reason people conclude what appears to be a direct connection of weather to their specific type of pain. Some studies include data pointing to patients seeking care for certain types of pain during rainy weather.
Those with arthritis, neck pain or other types of musculoskeletal issues tend to report most weather-related pain, says Dr. Bolash. But weather doesnt appear to alter reporting connected to nerve pain conditions, like complex regional pain syndrome or neuropathy.
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What Should You Do If Your Joints Still Hurt In Cold Weather
If you discover that your joints still hurt after youve applied these tips, you need to talk to a physical therapist or orthopedist. Give us a call now to book an appointment with OrthoBethesda. Well do a full examination on your joints to determine whether the pain you feel is due to a health condition.
Extra Weight Means Extra Stress
When it comes to exercising and knee pain, being overweight is another risk factor. The concept is simple: More weight on your joints means more stress for that impact load.
Your body weight is increased through the knee during flexion, Dr. McLaughlin says. If youre 10 pounds overweight, that can add up to 50 pounds more weight through the knee with each step.
Conversely, though, studies have shown that every pound lost can result in up to a 4-fold reduction of stress on each knee with each impact. In other words, if you lose 10 pounds, that equals 40 pounds less in load through your knee.
Again, consider exercises like swimming, elliptical training, or even cycling for solid workouts that can help you lose a few pounds while protecting your knees from added pain.
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How Do You Use Ice / Cold As Pain Relief For Your Knee Injury
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 .
Cold can Make Your Knee Injury Worse – How?
Applying cold can restrict blood flow and stiffen / tighten soft tissue. Cold is NOT a good treatment method for your knee when the tissue is already tight and constricted, because the cold will just stiffen the tissue further.
If you feel you have contricted or tight tissue, you should use a therapy that will increase blood flow instead – like Circulation Boost . Increasing blood flow at this time will help to relieve any tightness or stiffness. Circulatory Boost used at this time will also help to relax / elongate your tissue making it much more pliable for activity.
The Science Behind The Stiffness
In colder weather, the fluid in your knees can become slightly thicker. This fluid acts like a shock absorber and as it thickens it can be prevented from flowing properly around the joint, reducing its efficiency and causing increased stiffness.
The onset of cold weather also causes the barometric pressure to drop. This is the weight of the air around you and as it drops it can cause the fluids and gases in your joint to expand, putting additional pressure on the nerves and causing pain.
Inflammation, scarring or adhesions may cause the nerves in the knee joint to become hypersensitive to cold weather and if the cold temperatures are accompanied by high humidity, it may even affect the cellular structures of cartilage and bone.
On top of this, one of the by-products of cold weather is that we tend to become less active and spend more time indoors. This, too, is bad for the joints and can lead to an increase in pain perception when less of the normal pain distractions in daily life are present.
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Dress For Cold Weather Success
When youre going out in the cold, wear plenty of layers and keep yourself bundled up. Cold fingers and toes tend to ache and feel sore, whether joint pain is the underlying culprit. Keep gloves or mittens in your car and work bag in case of emergencies. Stash away an extra pair of warm socks to slip on when your feet get chilly.
Similarly, wearing proper cold-weather gear changes our outlook on the winter months. We can take a lesson from research on people who live in year-round cold climates like the Arctic, Nordic countries, Canada, and Alaska: preparedness helps ease winter discomfort. Warm clothing will help you feel more comfortable going outside, getting fresh air and exercise.
Bookmark The Aches & Pains Weather Map
Changes in barometric pressure appear to be the main link between weather and pain, according to weather service Intellicast. Low pressure is generally associated with cold, wet weather and an increase in pain clear, dry conditions signal high pressure and a decrease in pain, they explain. To help people who are sensitive to these changes, they keep an interactive Aches & Pains weather map that shows weather patterns in your area and how they might affect your pain levels.
I might as well be a weather person, Im so sensitive to changes, says Charlene G., 37, who has rheumatoid arthritis. I can tell you without even looking if its snowing. Knowing in advance helps her plan out her day so shes made the map her homescreen on her computer and checks it every morning.
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Arthritis Pain Relief Tips For Winter Weather
Dress warmly, work out inside, and get enough vitamin D. These are some of the ways you can get arthritis pain relief despite the bone-chilling cold of winter weather.
Many people with arthritis swear by the pain in their joints as a predictor of rainy or cold weather. I used to hear people complain all the time that they knew rain was coming from the aching in their knees, says Pam Snow, 54, of Denver, who has arthritis. Now Im one of those people!
Snow has osteoarthritis in both knees. She typically manages her pain with exercise, diet, weight loss, and the occasional over-the-counter pain reliever, but when winter weather sets in, Snow faces an extra joint-pain challenge. I think its related to barometric pressure, she says. It definitely has made me more cognizant of the weather.
For Snow, arthritis isnt just a personal problem. As vice president for community involvement for the Colorado Arthritis Foundation, she travels the state educating others about the condition. So she’s aware that there’s very little scientific evidence to support her own experience, and that of the legions of others with arthritis who feel worse when the weather is frightful.
How Can You Relieve Cold Weather Joint Pain
No matter the cause, winter stiffness and achiness is something many people experience. Luckily, avoiding it is as easy as keeping yourself warm. That means warming up properly before working out and wearing appropriate clothing if youre going to be outside.
A proper warm-up and stretching will also help keep everything more limberwhich is important to prevent stiffness from turning into an injury. Joint pain alone doesnt necessarily lead to injuries, but if the pain is caused by stiffness and you dont address it and it gets worse, that can cause injury, says Tehrany. In general, for an activity like steady-state running, you want to at least warm up for 5 minutes inside or outside, SELF reported previously.
And during your run, if you stop and take breaks, keep in mind that your joints and muscles may start to feel stiff as your body temperature lowers, so implement dynamic movement even during pauses in your run to keep yourself warm and limber.
After running, it is also important to make sure you incorporate a proper cool-down, followed up by stretching/foam rolling to decrease tightening in the muscles after exercising, Farrell says. And on rest days? Tehrany suggests daily stretching and dressing in warm-enough clothes to avoid stiffness.
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Reduce Your Risk For Joint Pain
- Ease the shock of cold weather on your body by dressing in layers to stay warm.
- Build up muscle and bone strength through exercise. This reduces pressure on your joints, so they are less prone to injury.
- Maintain a healthy weight to decrease stress on your joints, especially your knees.
- Avoid unnecessary strain on your joints during daily activities.
- Apply heating pads to painful areas. Heat helps relax your muscles.
- Get up, walk around and be active indoors and outdoors. Stretch before going outside to loosen stiff joints. Staying active in the winter keeps your muscles and joints healthy.
- Get a good nights sleep, eat a healthy diet and keep a positive outlook.