Do Hot and Cold Treatments Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Read Transcript

Hot and cold therapy is great and people always ask me which one is best, I would say, I always tell then that the thing that is best is the one that works for you. And that's the same about medicine. The best medicine in the world is the one that takes away all your pain, doesn't give you a side effect, and a perfect medicine is one that's free.

You just don't run into that very often. So when we talk about hot and cold, what I would say about hot and cold is, that hot generally relaxes you. So it will relax tight muscles, people with arthritis, their muscles tighten up because of the pain and if they get in a hot tub, or if they get into a hot shower or if they put a hot pack or a heating pad on their back it relaxes the muscles, they generally feel better.

If you have a red hot painful swollen knee, then putting ice on that generally takes the pain away. So it's a little bit like they say, if it's hot, cool it, if it's cool, heat it. So if you have a cool tight muscle, put some heat on there. If you have a hot swollen joint, put some ice on there, but some people will say, I can't stand ice, well then you probably shouldn't use it, and the same thing about heat, whichever one works the best for you ultimately, but the two main components are cool, gets rid of pain, heat gets rid of spasm.