Arthritis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases that exist. There are many forms of arthritis, and each one varies in symptoms from each other. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, and it affects the spine, hands, and knees predominantly.
While there has yet to be a cure that completely reverses the damage caused by the disease, there are medical and non-medical ways of dealing with osteoarthritis, managing with the pain and slowing down the progression rate.
Heat therapy is a simple and effective way to treat osteoarthritis, and it has a lot of benefits.
When warmth is applied to a damaged area, it allows the blood vessels around the joint to dilate which increases the flow of nutrients and oxygen to it.
It decreases joint stiffness and increases the flexibility of the joint.
With heat therapy, there is no sure-fire way to apply heat to the affected area with some medical professionals advising heat be used at every instance pain occurs. There are however various methods for applying heat therapy:
– Hot water bottle:
This is the more common one. A rubber bottle that adequately preserves the warmth long enough for it to be effective.
– Hot tub/bath or sauna:
Unlike the bottle, the hot tub works on the general body that is immersed in heat.
– Heat patches:
They are disposable and adhesive fitted products that can be worn in just beneath the skin under clothes. They provide instant relief, convenience and a few hours of heat application. Some patches are also equipped with pain relieving ointments.
Heat therapy should not be mistaken for cold therapy or assumed that they possess the same benefits. Apart from their different temperatures, cold and heat treatment cause different reactions when applied to the body.
To get the best from both therapies, consider alternating their use as often as possible. Remember that there is no right way or wrong way to use a heating pad.
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