A huge number of people deal with joint aches and pains on a daily basis. Applying something cold can help with joint and muscle pain relief when swelling and inflammation occurs. Although the cold helps relieve the discomfort, overuse can cause the healing process to slow down. Heat will encourage blood flow and help with soreness, but it is important to know when to use it. Heat can come in the form of a hot shower or a hot water bottle. These treatments, combined with supplements, are effective ways to help people who suffer from joint pain.
Cold is a good pain remedy because it can reduce swelling and calm the surrounding muscles near the joints. By causing the blood vessels to narrow, cold treatment slows the flow of blood. This is what causes the swelling to go down, and the inflammation to subside. Cold will also help control muscle spasms that can cause irritation of the joints. The healing process requires good blood flow. Therefore, overexposing an area to cold will actually have negative affects. 10 to 15 minutes is plenty of time to leave a cold wrap on. If the swelling persists, reapply the cold wrap after 15 minutes, or so.
A bag of ice can be used to apply cold to an achy joint. Another option is a bag of frozen vegetables. Specially made gel bags are available at most drugstores. These are nice because the will conform better to the joint. You can make these at home using a 4 to 1 ratio of water to rubbing alcohol. Just fill up a Ziploc bag with the mixture and throw it in the freezer. Wrapping these cold packs in a towel will make them more comfortable.
The purpose of using heat as a treatment for joint pain is that it will relax the muscles and increase blood flow and circulation. Heat is used with the joint is stiff, and when the pain is a nagging or dull ache. Heat is not a good remedy for acute pain or swelling.
A hot shower or bath can help loosen up the joints. A hot water bottle will work, but using moist heat is generally more effective. A warm moist towel or hot tub will help more than a heat lamp.
There are a number of supplements on the market that help with joint pain relief and reduce stiffness. Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin are good examples of dietary supplements that can help slow the progression of osteoarthritis. These are often taken together. Glucosamine is good for the cartilage formation and repair. Chondroitin, can promote mobility, help with water retention, and inhibit the enzymes that cause the cartilage to break down.
SAM-e is another supplement that can help. SAM-e stands for S-adenosylmethionine, and comes from the amino acid methionine. Age and eating habits are big factors that affect low methionine levels, so SAM-e supplements can be beneficial. These are just a few of the products that are available.
Using cold, applying heat and taking supplements are good ways to help control the pain. These are cheap and effective ways that help people who are looking for joint pain relief.