According to the doctors, the heat is used, serves to dilate blood vessels, stimulate blood circulation and reduce stiffness. In addition, the heat also serves to eliminate the sensation of pain. You can use a variety of equipment such as heating pad, heat lamp, or using steam heat by warm baths or compresses with a cloth soaked in hot water.
In contrast to heat, cold compresses reduce the inflammation by means of screwed or shrink the blood vessels. Although the sensation of water ice compress or pack a bag of ice will cause discomfort in the beginning, but this way can reduce pain.
When using heat therapy of steam, make sure the temperature is not too hot to avoid the possibility of skin burns. Choose a temperature you can tolerate, either with a bath of warm water, using a bottle filled with hot water, or hot spa.
You can do a heat treatment of at least 15 minutes before physical exercise. Then you should immediately use again after exercise. Additionally, you can also use the steam any time you require additional treatment to relieve the pain.
Effectiveness of heat therapy. Many arthritis sufferers reported having experienced a reduction in pain and stiffness after a hot shower or do the hot spa. The use of hot steam otherwise effectively relax muscles, improve blood supply to the affected area and relieve muscle stiffness. However, avoid heat therapy if you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or if you are pregnant.
According to the doctor and patient reports, this therapy is also effective in relieving the pain of arthritis. Ice bag used as a compress on the inflamed area will be working to reduce inflammation and swelling. Ice bag is particularly good for relieving pain in joints due to the heat generated by arthritis. In addition to ice, you can also try the local spray as fluoromethane (nonflammable) on the back or the affected area before and after physical activity. This cooler serves to relieve muscle stiffness and improve your ability to withstand pain. Or to make things easier, you can make an ice pack to wrap vegetables that have been refrigerated or frozen.
Which is better, hot or cold? Some patients prefer cold therapy compared to vapor. While some other patients who claimed to get the best results by combining the two. To get the right choice, you could do the experiment.
To get the best results, try using steam heat therapy or a bag of ice at least twice a day. According to the American College of Rheumatology, compresses or massaging the affected area with ice for 5-10 minutes, within 48 hours of first relapse, can help to relieve pain. Medium heat should be used for pain that persists for more than 48 hours.