In this post, we’ll let you in on the tricks you can do to relieve arthritis pain that are the polar opposite (pun intended) of what we told you in our article about using heat for arthritis. In reality, however, using cold for arthritis pain is just the yin to the yang in your homemade treatment plan.
The yin and the yang? Let’s explain that in greater detail first!
Is heat or cold better for arthritis pain?
Should I apply a heating pad or an ice pack to my sore joints?
This question is one of the most commonly searched by people when they start seeking ways to take their treatment in their own hands by using natural and inexpensive methods at home.
But just as with the yin and the yang, your arthritis treatment plan needs to be balanced!
Here’s the gist of it:
Do you want to put heat on a part of your body that’s already hot and bothered?
Do you want to put cold on cold, tight muscles that need to loosen up?
So it’s best to use alternating hot and cold therapy in order to balance out your self-guided arthritis treatment.
Now, let’s look at the benefits of using cold.
Will Using Cold Therapy Really Help Reduce Arthritis Pain?
It’s important to know when and why to apply cold to an arthritic joint.
If the red, hot inflammation in your joints is an angry burning flame raging about, the cold you apply to it is like the giant bucket of ice water that cools it and calms it down!
In more scientific terms, this is because the drop in temperature causes your muscles and their blood vessels to contract and constrict. This reduces blood flow to the area and, as a result, the inflammation as well.
Additionally, the cold can:
- slow and diminish the transmission of pain signals to the brain that causes you to experience discomfort when dealing with arthritis and
- Reduce the production rate of synovial joint fluid, which is healthy in certain amounts but uncomfortable swelling when there’s too much in the joint (it’s all about balance, remember?)
So, what kind of cold therapy are we talking about here?
Best Ways to Use Cold to Relieve Arthritis Pain
Here are the most effective (and cost-effective) methods to reduce joint and muscle discomfort that you can start using today!
We’ve all got them in our fridge, so they’re easy to take out and apply on your knees. Heck, I’ve collected 6 of them over the years-I can ice all of my joints at once now!
When using an ice pack, remember to
- Wrap it in a towel so that it does not make direct contact with your skin and
- Only leave it on for periods of 15-20 minutes before giving your skin a break. You don’t want to irritate or damage skin on top of the arthritis discomfort!
As always here at GLX3, we want to help save you money while saving your joints. A great home remedy for arthritis pain using cold simply calls for sticking a wet towel in the freezer overnight. Take it out the next day, and you’re ready to start icing. A frozen pack of peas works just as well, too!
This topical spray produces an artificial cooling sensation, and many physical therapists use it to spray on localized areas to calm irritation and inflammation. Fluoromethane also reduces muscle spasms in the body and distracts the brain from pain or discomfort, so you can breathe in the relief!
Just remember that it’s often only available to those with a prescription or through your doctor, so check with them first.
Wrap Up: Start Using Cold to Treat Your Arthritis Pain!
We really can’t stress this enough:
Battling arthritis requires a balanced approach that provides relief by alternating heat and cold when it’s appropriate. But that just covers what you put on the outside of your body!
You can’t forget the importance of what you put in it as well! That’s where a balanced diet with foods and supplements containing omega-3 and vitamin E can really help bolster your defenses against joint pain.
When you’ve got cold therapy as part of your arthritis self-care plan, you’re doing your part to remain pain free!
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