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Osteoarthritis and Applications of Heat and Cold

Written by sshowalter.

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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