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Heat Treatments for Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

Turn up the heat! Sometimes a little hot therapy may be all you need to relieve your osteoarthritis-related joint pain.

EverydayHealth.com—November 15, 2011

When it comes to treating osteoarthritis joint pain, sometimes simpler is better. Such is the case with heat therapy, which has been shown to relieve pain and improve mobility in many people with arthritis.

“Heat can help in relieving pain and spasm and is especially good before exercise — it can often increase how far the joint can be moved,” says Theodore Fields, MD, director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Fields adds: “For many people, 10 minutes of heat to an area — keeping the temperature warm but comfortable — is enough to keep them comfortable for some time. If not, [a series of] 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off the heating pad can be helpful.”

Treating Osteoarthritis With Heat

Here’s what the experts we asked say about the different heat treatments for osteoarthritis pain:

Heating pads. Commercially available heating pads can be effective. “I have advised a number of patients to try the Thermophore moist heating pad,” says Dr. Fields.

Hot-water bottles. A simple treatment for arthritis-related joint pain is to apply a hot-water bottle to the aching joint. “If brought to a warm but comfortable temperature, these can be helpful," Fields says, "but they do lose their heat fairly soon."

Read the full story at everydayhealth.com.



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