Treating Arthritis Pain with Moist Heat and Cold Therapy
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints. Sometimes referred to as ‘degenerative joint disease’ or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down: leading to stiffness, swelling, and pain. More than 3 million individuals in the US alone are affected by osteoarthritis. While osteoarthritis has no specific cause, risk factors include excess weight, injury and overuse. The pain caused by osteoarthritis is chronic and persistent, causing a significant decrease in quality of life for sufferers. In this article we’re going to discuss ways stiffness, swelling, and pain caused by osteoarthritis can be mitigated with the use of cold therapy and moist heat therapy.
Why is swelling so painful?
Inflammation is a natural response by our immune system to help protect and heal our bodies. Why then is it so painful? When the body creates an inflammatory response it sends white blood cells and chemicals to the area of injury or illness in an attempt to protect and heal. These chemicals can leak into the surrounding tissue and cause swelling. The rush of blood cells and chemicals to the area can over-stimulate the nerve endings and cause pain. Individuals with osteoarthritis most frequently complain of stiffness and pain in their hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips.
Cold Therapy for Natural Joint Pain Relief
One of the best defenses against painful inflammation and swelling in our joints is an application of cold therapy. Cold therapy products naturally relieve painful arthritis symptoms by restricting the body’s natural inflammatory response. Cold therapy constricts blood flow and therefore reduces the number of chemicals potentially flooding the tissue, stimulating nerves, and causing pain. Use the Thermalon First Aid Wrap for painful joints like ankles and wrists or the Thermalon Large Compress for pain in the lower back, knees and hips.
Alternate Cold with Moist Heat Therapy
Medical professionals recommend alternating cold therapy with moist heat therapy for more effective natural pain relief. While cold therapy products help by constricting blood flow and reducing inflammation, moist heat therapy products stimulate the return of oxygen-rich blood and expedite healing. All Thermalon moist heat and cold therapy products can be used for both types of thermal pain management. Simply store your moist heat products in the freezer between use to apply cold therapy, or microwave your cold therapy products for 30-60 seconds for deep penetrating moist heat therapy.