Soothing Heat and Cold for Arthritis Treatment and Pain Management
You can use heat and cold for arthritis treatment in different situations to great effect to relieve pain and stiffness in your joints.
o Use a hot water bottle, hot wheat pack or heat lamp directly on the painful area for relief.
o Try using an electric blanket or taking a long warm shower or bath to help relieve morning stiffness and get you moving for the day.
o Cold packs can be especially helpful for a hot tender inflamed joint.
o For more severe pain, your physiotherapist can give you deep heat therapy treatments such as ultrasound.
o Your physiotherapist can also tell you more about the safest and most effective ways of using heat and cold.
Taking Care of Your Joints
You can learn new habits that will help you take care of your body and reduce pain in rheumatism and osteoarthritis in ways that do not have to use drugs.
Pain is a warning that something is wrong in your body. Listen to your body's signals and stop activity just before it makes your joint tired or painful. Avoid or re-plan activities that might cause pain and discomfort but are difficult to stop quickly.
Use Your Strongest Muscles and Joints
You can often choose to use a bigger, stronger muscle or joint to do the hardest work. This might include:
o Using your thigh muscles instead of your back muscles for lifting.
o Using your forearm muscles rather than your wrists or hands to carry, lift or hold things.
o Pushing up from your chair using the palms of your hands rather than your fingers or knuckles.
o Using your whole hand rather than your fingers to open items like jars.
o Using two hands for lifting and using your palms rather than fingers.
Use Joint Saving Gadgets
There are many joint saving gadgets that make everyday tasks like turning taps and getting dressed much easier.
Visit your local pharmacy home health area or a local government health department support office and decide what gadgets you can afford to make your life easier.
Support Your Joints with Splints
Splints are made to support a joint. Working wrist splints give your wrists much needed support while leaving your hands free to do the task. These splints reduce pain and give you extra working strength and therefore enable you to work longer.
Resting splints are available to use at night to keep a joint supported in its correct position, preventing deformity and reducing pain.
Simplify Your Life
Start sliding things rather than trying to lift them. A small trolley at home at the mall or work will save a lot of lifting and carrying.
Break your workload so that you can spread heavy jobs throughout the course of the week.
Ask yourself if the job really needs to be done the way you do it. If it doesn't, don't do it! Who else can do it instead of you?
Remember, physical activity does not have to be the curse of your life. Find your balance between work and rest, and work smarter not harder. There is much more to arthritis treatment than the use of drugs and medication.