Should You Ice or Heat Your Joints?

Dealing with joint pain can be annoying and disrupt your lifestyle, but thankfully there are things you can do to help alleviate discomfort by icing or heating your joints.

January 23, 2023

Often, people who visit us at ProActive Health deal with joint or muscle pain from injuries, exercise, or chronic conditions. Dealing with joint pain can be annoying and disrupt your lifestyle, but thankfully there are things you can do to help alleviate discomfort by icing or heating your joints.

In today’s article, we’ll look at the benefits of using ice or heat on your joints.

Benefits of icing your joints

Ice is often the best remedy to use within 48 hours after exercising or an injury. This form of therapy works best after an acute injury after a fall or a sudden twist that causes your joints to hurt. When placing a bag of ice or frozen peas, like we did growing up, can reduce blood flow to the affected area, helping decrease swelling and inflammation. 

Now when icing the affected area, it’s important to remember never to have your skin make contact with the ice pack unless it has a built-in barrier. Additionally, you should only place the ice pack on for no more than 20 minute intervals. 

Benefits of heating your joints and muscles

Now, as opposed to icing your joints, which slows down blood flow, applying heat to the affected area, can, in fact, increase blood flow to the area drawing in more oxygen and nutrients. This form of home remedy is great for those who suffer from arthritis or stiff muscles.

Heating your joints is better for everyday joint pain, such as stiffness. You can use dry heat, like a heating pad, to help soothe the pain, or you could use moist heat, like from a hot towel. Moist heat is often the quickest and most efficient way to transfer heat to your body. 

As with ice, don’t apply heat to your body without some protective barrier, and you should only apply it for 20-minutes at a time to avoid the risk of burning yourself.

Visit us at ProActive Health today to “Align Your Spine, Realign Your Life!”

Ready to see a chiropractor, whether for the first time or as someone looking to visit a new chiropractic office? Dr. Doug Patterson or Dr. Michael Hummer at ProActive Health is the top choice in the Michiana area! They will help guide you in developing a plan to tackle a routine exercise plan, consuming the right foods, and targeting your goals with chiropractic care.

Dr. Doug Patterson hurt his back in 1993 thus he first sought the care of a Chiropractor. After this experience, he decided he wanted to help people himself by pursuing chiropractic. He is a 1997 graduate of the Life University College of Chiropractic in Marietta, Georgia, and has been in practice for 25+ years. Since then, Dr. Doug has expanded his field of practice to include functional medicine,  science-based nutrition, and now certified in Shockwave Therapy. Schedule a visit with Dr. Doug at ProActive Health today!

Dr. Michael Hummer is native to northern Indiana. He grew up very active and found great enjoyment playing football, rugby, and wrestling. Dr. Mike earned his undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Ashland University where as a student-athlete he was a member of the varsity wrestling team. After graduation, he went on to become a personal trainer, and through his passion for both fitness and nutrition, he helped people to achieve their own goals and acquire greater health and wellness. At the same time, he also enjoyed working with and inspiring the local youth throughout his community through his dedication as a volunteer wrestling coach. Now Dr. Mike is excited to apply his education from Logan University and versatile skill set in aiding the community as they strive for greater health and happiness. Dr. Mike is also certified in Shockwave Therapy.. Schedule a visit with Dr. Mike at ProActive Health today!

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