We use ice packs or heating pads to treat pain caused by arthritis or pulled muscles or even inflammation. According to health experts, treating your pain with hot and cold can be extremely effective in managing several injuries and health conditions. One important factor is that it is not expensive and all of us can try it without spending any money. The only tricky part is to know when to use hot and when to use cold.
Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy can help in managing arthritis pain.
Can Heat Therapy Help?
When you apply heat to the affected region, it helps in improving circulation and blood flow to that particular region. Heat therapy will help in soothing the discomfort that we experience in that region and increases muscle flexibility. It was also found that heat therapy could help in soothing muscles and heal damaged tissue.
Dry heat and moist heat are used in heat therapy. Dry heat includes dry heating packs, saunas, heating pads, etc. Moist heat includes steamed towels, hot baths, etc. When used for a good amount of time, heat therapy can be quite beneficial. Using it for 15-29 minutes could help in relieving minor stiffness or tension. If you are suffering from diabetes, vascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, dermatitis, etc. it is better not to use heat therapy.
Can Cold Therapy Help?
Many people these days try cold therapy for arthritis treatment. Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, works by reducing the flow of blood to the affected region. When you apply cold to the affected joint, it will help in reducing the inflammation and thereby provide arthritis pain relief.
We can apply cold to the affected region in many ways. Some people try ice massage and some others try an ice bath. However, most people use an ice pack or coolant sprays to alleviate the pain in their joints. Cold therapy can also help in reducing muscle spasms and reduce pain caused by ligament sprains.
If you do not have an ice pack at home, you can wrap ice cubes in a towel and apply them to the affected region. One important thing to note is that never apply ice to your skin directly because it can damage your skin and tissues.