If you suffer from arthritis pain, heat application and therapy may be beneficial. However, in order to understand if heat therapy is beneficial for you, it is important to know the different types of arthritis pain and which one you suffer from. There are two types of pain that can fall under the arthritis category: acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute pain usually occurs if you suffer from a disease or if you had a previous injury. For example, you could be suffering from acute pain if you went through certain types of surgery. Acute Arthritis is usually a sharp, throbbing type of pain that may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Chronic pain is usually a dull, aching pain such as a migraine or a backache. Due to the lack of treatment options, chronic pain lasts three months or more.
Factors That Contribute To Arthritis Pain
There are many different factors that contribute to Arthritis pain. Some of these factors include gender, preexisting medical conditions, age, and genetics.
Studies show that women are more likely to be subject to arthritis pain than men. Women also feel the pain more intensely than men do.
Other Medical Conditions
People who suffer from multiple medical conditions at once are more likely to develop chronic arthritis pain.
Arthritis is more common and more prominent in individuals aged 65 and older.
There is a possibility that arthritis can be inherited from previous generations in the family.
Types of Heat Therapy
Some individuals may find that heat therapy works to ease their chronic pain from arthritis. There are many different ways that heat therapy can be used to relieve pain. Some of the most common forms of heat therapy include:
- Warm showers or baths
- Electric blankets
- Moist heating pads
- Dry heating pads
- Warm paraffin wax treatments
Before partaking in heat application to relieve pain from arthritis, it is important that you consult a doctor. It is not recommended that individuals who suffer from dermatitis or diabetes utilize heat therapy for arthritis. Also, it is advised to avoid these heat treatments if your joints are bruised or swollen, or if you have any open wounds.
Benefits of Heat Application
Heat application is proven to have many different health benefits. Here are a few of the benefits associated with heat application:
- Using heat application methods on a regular basis can ease the stiffness in joints and increase flexibility, allowing for easier movement.
- Heat therapy can work to soothe sore joints in various parts of the body including the hands and feet.
- Partaking in heat therapy regularly can prepare the body for any stretching or exercise. It also makes it a lot easier and less painful to perform any physical activity.
- The warmth from heat application can be quite relaxing. This results in the reduction of pain signals being sent to the brain, eventually reducing the amount of pain.
- The right amount of heat can significantly decrease chronic joint or muscle pain.
- When heat penetrates the body down to the tissue, it stimulates the blood vessels causing them to dilate. In turn, this increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles causing the damaged tissue to heal.
- Heat therapy can encourage the production of joint fluid, which is required in order to allow nutrients to be delivered to the joint tissue.
- Heat can stimulate blood flow and improve blood circulation in the entire body, allowing the range of motion in the body to increase.
- Regularly applying heat to the area of chronic pain can ease muscle spasms and relax the muscles overall.
Things to Watch Out For
There are also some things that you should watch out for when using heat application for Arthritis pain, such as:
- Ensure that the heat is set at the right temperature. The device should be warm rather than hot. This is to ensure that there is no risk of burning the skin.
- Regardless of which heat therapy method you choose, be sure to place a towel or washcloth between your skin and the source of heat to prevent the risk of burns.
- When engaging in heat application, only expose your body to the heat in 20-minute intervals.
- Evaluate the condition of your skin after you have completed heat therapy. If skin appears to be irritated or different in appearance, contact a doctor immediately.
If you have any questions about heat application therapy or Arthritis in general, visit Adapt Home Health Care’s website today or call one of our 3 locations in the Greater Toronto Area. Our staff will be more than willing to assist you! Always remember to consult a doctor before engaging in any treatment for arthritis.