If you’re experiencing arthritis pain, you already know how severe it can be. You also know how much you struggle to find relief from all of the pain. This disease has yet to have a formal cure, but luckily, there are some tips that can help you achieve some much needed arthritis pain relief.
A great form of pain relief that will warm you right up is moist heat. You can buy hot packs and heating pads for around $10 - $30. I got one of these many years ago and now would not live without it.
You could also make a homemade heating pad - they both work in the same way. To make your own, grab a towel. What you want to do with the towel is dampen it with warm water. Then you can do one of two things: you can either heat it up in your microwave from 10 seconds to a minute (depending on the wattage of your microwave) or heat it in an oven. Set the oven at 300 degrees. You’ll want to do this for about 5-10 minutes depending on the type of oven you have. In order to restrict the likelihood of burns, you should test the towel’s temperature on the inside of your forearm like you would with a baby bottle.
Taking baths has also been known to be a good form of arthritis pain relief. This is generally described as hydrotherapy and is a regular part of many physical therapists’ routines. Hydrotherapy can be performed at home in a bathtub or a hot tub. A bathtub with water jets closely resembles the type of warm water massage that’s done by professionals. If you don’t have an oversized whirlpool tub (like most of us), then a 15-20 minute dip in a warm bath will do the trick. The heat from the bath exposes your body to the warmth of the water and also allows all of the muscles that carry your weight (such as your knees and hips) to relax. It’s also a really good excuse for that much-needed bubble bath.
If you don’t even have a bathtub, then there’s another form of hydrotherapy you can do at home in your shower. If you have one of those shower massagers, it can work just as well. All you need to do is set the temperature to warm or hot - whichever you prefer, and choose a speed and pulse rate that’s best for you. When you decide on the perfect settings, you want to hold the massager 4-6 inches away from the joint affected with pain.
If you live in any part of the country that isn’t chilly New England, you may not want more heat. You may, instead, want a breath of icy fresh air to relieve your pain on a hot day. Icing your pain away has many effects that are similar to those who use heat. Using an ice pack on your aching joints relieves lots of pain. Gel-filled cold packs are usually the way to go instead of straight ice - only because it’s a little less frigid and more refreshing. Cold packs are very inexpensive and are available in many different shapes and sizes for those hard-to-reach areas. Cold packs go for $10-$15 at most grocery stores.
Yes, there’s a lot to learn about living with arthritis. Getting in control might take some time. It’s going to mean making some changes in your life, but you can start with small changes, and you don’t have to make them all at once. Try to stay positive and work with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments. And you don’t have to do it alone.
If you aren't on our mailing list and would like to keep up with what we are learning, sign up below. If you have any questions, join us in the community and ask. We're here to help!