Thermotherapy: Hot and Cold for Pain and Inflammation

Cheryl Crow, occupational therapist, rheumatoid arthritis patient, and RheumatoidArthritis.net advocate, is here to help demystify the topic of thermotherapy - the use of heat and cold to help influence pain and inflammation - in a three part video series.

Medical disclaimer: This content was created for generalized informational purposes only. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Thermotherapy for RA management

It's often confusing for patients to figure out when, where, how and why to use hot versus cold for arthritis pain. Check out the below videos for insight on when heat and cold help best!

 

How do cold packs help with RA?

Cold packs can reduce inflammation and swelling and temporarily reduce the sensation of pain. Cheryl explains that it's best to use on hot, red swollen joints for no more than 20 minutes at a time. It's important monitor skin and that you may need to put paper towel between pack and skin. You can use simple things from freezer - frozen peas, blueberries, or ice cubes.

 

How can applying heat be beneficial?

In the below video, Cheryl explains how heat can be used to increases blood flow and reduce stiffness. She clarifies that heat should be used when joints are stiff and sore, but not when they are hot and inflamed.

 

We hope this video series was helpful to you! Stay tuned for more informative videos from Cheryl both here on our site and on our Instagram page.

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