Aging and arthritis - When using heat is appropriate for this condition
Arthritis occurs when the joints become tender and swollen, limiting movement and causing discomfort. It’s something that occurs with age and can affect anyone, regardless of their physical health. Luckily, heat therapy is an easy and inexpensive way to alleviate some arthritis pain.
Heat therapy is as close to a miracle cure as you’ll find. It’s simple, doesn’t break the bank, and doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription or supervision. It can be done at home on a daily basis. Heat therapy works by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Heat also loosens joints and stimulates joint fluid, reducing stiffness. Heat therapy also works immediately by soothing the area and distracting the brain from the occurring pain.
It is important to get the right temperature when using heat therapy. Your compress should be warm, not hot, so that it penetrates your muscles without hurting your skin. To be effective, heat should be applied consistently for an extended period of time.
There are also times when cold compresses are the best thing to soothe arthritic pain. Cold therapy decreases inflammation and slows the production of joint fluid in already swollen joints. Because cold and heat therapy are equally effective in different cases, Body Comfort makes hot and cold packs that can give you both.