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Effect of Applications of Heat and Cold on Osteoarthritis
Application of Heat
Heat improves blood circulation to the affected area. Applying heat via warm soaks, paraffin, or heating pads can be very soothing. Most recommend that you apply the heat for about ten minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day.
Application of Cold
Cold can help decrease inflammation in an affected joint, relieving pain, and improving stiffness and movement. Apply an ice pack for 20-30 minutes
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Research Evidence on Applications of Heat and Cold
Hot water therapy, also known as balneotherapy, has been tested as a treatment for osteoarthritis with some promise. 176-180
In recent centuries, the use of hot springs and water in other forms was popularized by early practitioners of what later would become naturopathy.
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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ . Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. InteliHealth website. Available at: http://www.intelih... . Updated May 2008. Accessed December 11, 2009.
12/11/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Rutjes WJ, Nuesch E, Sterchi R, et al. Transcutaneous electrostimulation for osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD002823.
10/15/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Wandel S, Jüni P, Tendal B, et al. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010;341:c4675.
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- Tishler M, Rosenberg O, Levy O, et al. The effect of balneotherapy on osteoarthritis. Is an intermittent regimen effective? Eur J Intern Med. 2004;15:93-96.
- Fioravanti A, Valenti M, Altobelli E, et al. Clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness evidence of spa therapy in osteoarthritis. The results of "Naiade" Italian Project. Panminerva Med. 2003;45:211-217.
- Guillemin F, Virion JM, Escudier P, et al. Effect on osteoarthritis of spa therapy at Bourbonne-les-Bains. Joint Bone Spine. 2002;68:499-503.
- Sukenik S, Flusser D, Codish S, et al. Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area for knee osteoarthritis. Isr Med Assoc J. 2000;1:83-85.
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