Good Evening All,
Osteoarthritis patients often try heat or cold applications to relieve symptoms. The treatment is easy and inexpensive compared to other treatment options but I was wondering what works best for you?
Which is more effective -- heat or cold?
How should heat or cold be used for the best results?
How does thermotherapy or cryotherapy work to relieve osteoarthritis?
Thermotherapy is thought to work by improving circulation and relaxing muscles. Cryotherapy numbs pain, reduces joint swelling, constricts blood vessels, and block nerve impulses to the affected joint. Heat can be conveniently delivered by using heating pads, hot towels, or paraffin wax. Cold can be applied by using cold compresses, crushed ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel, frozen gel packs, or some people get creative and use a bag of frozen vegetables that work well by conforming to the joint.
If you have not tried either and wish to try cold or heat, discuss it with your doctor. Discuss which you should try and have your doctor give you specific directions for how long and how often to use cold or heat. Some patients have individual preferences for heat or cold based on what has worked best for them in the past. But, start with your own doctor for advice specific to your situation.
I look forward to hearing from you the members with Osteroarthrits.
Thanks and hugs to all,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis & GERD/Heartburn
Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
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