Information about heat and cold therapy

Heat and cold therapy are used to reduce arthritis pain. These are the methods that are inexpensive and easy. You just either have to apply heat or cold to the affected area. For some people, cold therapy may work, and for some, heat therapy works out. Before even starting to use these methods, one should be aware of what exactly they help. Heat therapy helps to relieve muscles and stiffness of joints. And cold therapy helps in reducing swelling and pain. Many people along with this therapy use the patella strap for more benefit. Let us see why these two therapies should be applied to an arthritic joint.

  • Why apply heat to an arthritic joint 
  • It can help to heal the damaged tissues the warmth caused by heating will help to larger the blood vessels of muscles which in turn help stop increase the level of oxygen.
  • The warmth increases the ability to bend which increases flexibility and reduces stiffness. The same you can get from ankle braces.
  • Once the warmth increases the ability to bend and flexibility. Then it leads to the production of fluid which boosts greasing and also passes the nutrients to the tissues.
  • The warmth got through the heat also comforts the sensory organs in the skin which will help in the reduction of sending pain signals to the brain.
  • The heat should be applied till it gets penetrated the muscles and tissues. If it is kept for a shorter period, then it will give warmth to only the skin, which may not be that useful.

  • Why apply cold to an arthritic joint
  • The cold effect reduces inflammation. Due to the cold, the blood vessels get shrink. And the blood flow is reduced.
  • If the synovial fluid production increases, then it can cause swelling in the joints, which can be very uncomfortable. So applying cold therapy will help to reduce the production of synovial fluid. But one thing you should remember is that, if the quantity of fluid decreased more, then it is not healthy for the joints.
  • It also helps in comforting the sensory organs in the skin. Reduces sending pain signals to the brain, same as in heat therapy.
  • The cold therapy must not be used for more than twenty minutes at one time. But you can do cold therapy many times a day.
  • Never apply ice directly on the skin always use a cloth or towel as direct use may injury the skin. People who are allergic to cold and has nerve problems should avoid application of ice. 


Hope this information has given you enough details about hot and cold therapy. Hope you will use them to reduce your pain.