The Great Debate-Part 2: It's Getting Hot in Here
I have to admit, I often tend to opt for heat therapy over cold therapy, especially during the chillier months of the year. There is just something about a long, hot, soothing bath to soothe my aching joints; not that I’m biased or anything. There are a number of ways to turn up the heat on pain relief. Sometimes, you can even combine and alternate with heat therapy to really get the best of both worlds.
Epsom salt soak
I have found this timeless mineral compound to work wonders on my aching joints. Yes, you read that right, the same thing your great-great-great grandma used to soak out splinters and draw out infections does a fabulous job pulling pain and inflammation out of your hips, back, and knees. If I take a soak in the evening, I love using my epsom salts that have added eucalyptus, lavender, and chamomile for rest and relaxation.
This standard go-to for heat therapy has come a long way in recent years. It comes is so many different shapes and sizes, you are sure to find one for each and every joint on your body. Not only that, they also make a gel-filled variety as well as several that offer moist heat. While not my favorite method of heat therapy, heating pads are popular options for a high amount of direct heat on aching joints.
For me, these are literally heaven in a super-soft cushion of goodness. Readily available online and in stores, these are my go-to for larger or more widespread pain areas like my back or neck and shoulders. I even have a heated mattress pad for those super cold nights of the year and to try and beat the ever-present morning stiffness.
This is actually a favorite way to deliver either hot or cold using the same product. The bag I have was actually given to me by a fellow PsA warrior and I love it. The rice can take on the shape of any joint and the bag is also large enough for my bigger joints like my whole shoulder or lower back. I love that this can be used either for hot or cold.
Please! Keep this in mind
No matter which you choose, please be sure to follow basic safety procedures. Don’t leave ice therapies on longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Never fall asleep with heating pads directly on your joints and always, always, always check with your rheumatologist for recommendations specific to your questions, concerns, or complications. In the great hot cold debate, no matter which side you land on, I hope you find many pain-free days and restful nights.
Interested in my favorites for that freezing feeling? Be sure to check out part one of the great debate, hot vs cold for some great ideas to get your freeze on.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?