This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in November of 2022. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oq5o-g-vgY&t=83s
Brad: Many of our viewers are probably suffering from joint pain with this cold weather. It might be from a poor diet, it just might be arthritis. So we're going to show you a couple of options that are going to help reduce and stop that pain without meds. That means no side effects. I did a little homework on this, and I found an article from January 2022 written by Deborah Fulham Bruce Ph.D. This article is reviewed by a medical doctor and this information is good. Plus, we have over 57 years of hands-on clinical experience.
Bob: Oh my god, we're old.
Brad: Yeah. And we found this all consistent.
Bob: It's true.
Brad: I think there's going to be no surprise. One of the things you can do with that joint pain is to use some heat on it.
Bob: It feels good.
Brad: It feels good. The second option in this article which is not a real big surprise to us is cold. Use cold packs. I must admit, in my practice over the last 25 years I can think of one person with severe arthritis, and she really liked cold.
Bob: It's very rare.
Brad: Yeah. Most people like heat, but there's always that option. So we're going to cover that as well. Now with heat, one of the things that it does is it helps dilate the vessels and increase circulation.
Bob: More blood flow.
Brad: And that helps. It just feels good. We're going to talk about differences in what type of heat to use for options. Cold on the other hand restricts and pushes some fluid out. There's some numbing effect from the cold that can help reduce the pain. You can try each one.
Bob: You use cold on your back, right?
Brad: Oh yeah. I'm a cold person. I don't know if there's an arthritic problem, I don't think it might be coming up though. So, we're going to get the first options of heat that you can use. Number one, as therapists I think we've always used moist hot packs and we have these hydrocollators where these hot packs are soaking in hot water. But people don't have those at home.
Bob: Absolutely not.
Brad: To make it simple, a few good options are simply a warm shower or doing the dishes in warm water, and getting those hands warmed up. A hot tub. For some people, you could use a sauna or a steam room. However, if you do that, you need to make sure the doctor okays it. If you have a heart problem, you may not want to go into a hot tub or a steam room.
Brad: You can have problems with that. Other options for at-home are simply hot packs. There are cold and hot packs that you can do both of those. You can either put this in the freezer, comes out cold, or put it in the microwave and there'll be instructions on it how long to put it in there and put that on your aching joints.
Brad: The other option is an electric hot pack. Now there are standard hot packs that usually have two or three temperatures. A big caution with hot packs like that, they're conventional. They don't go very deep. They go about skin deep. They feel good, but you have to be careful if you put it on all the way high and you fall asleep with it. Bob and I have both had patients that burned themselves because they fell asleep with a hot pack on high and it can be a problem.
Brad: Now the other type of hot pack, this costs more but it is definitely superior. It's far infrared. It's a special type of hot pack, far infrared rays will heat up deep into your tissues.
Bob: 2.36 inches.
Brad: Right, over two inches and you can leave them on much longer. The Thermotex infrared heating pad only goes, I believe to 107 degrees is what it heats up to. There's only one setting and it goes deep. And you can leave that on for up to 45 minutes without concern.
Brad: So that's another excellent option. If you have not tried cold on those sore joints, you can try it. An easy way to do it without spending any money is to go to your freezer and take out a package of mixed vegetables, corn, peas, whatever it may be. They work well. They're cold. If you have knee joint pain, you simply put it right over your knee. Do not put cold directly on your skin. There's a potential to get frostbite. Typically, with patients I've had, they designate one bag of frozen peas for their cold pack so that's an option. If this works well, you can actually make a cold pack that works very well.
Bob: I've used one.
Brad: Simply go to the store and get some rubbing alcohol. It does make a difference on the percent alcohol, this is 91%. If it’s a different percentage it just changes the ratio. So, here's an example I made this last night. I took two freezer bags and it says cold pack on there so no one uses this for anything else. I put one bottle of rubbing alcohol and then two of water. So the ratio is two water to one rubbing alcohol. This is 91%, which I haven't used before. I've always used a lesser and this will not freeze. It's just cold water now, which is nice because it's darn cold and it actually goes over the top of the knee well. Now what I would do with this is I would dump some of it out and add more water. Because I like it so it turns slushy. If I use the alcohol with, I think it's 70 some percent, this would probably come out slushy. And that's something you have to learn.
Bob: Got it.
Brad: But these work well. You get done with it, put it back in the freezer.
Bob: It's cold. My gosh.
Brad: You're darn right it's cold, Bob. It's a cold pack.
Bob: Hence the name.
Brad: Yes. Or you can simply get one of these nice cold packs, make sure you get a good one. If you get a cheap one, you put it in the cold, in the freezer and they come out and they're hard.
Bob: It's a big brick.
Brad: Those are the el cheapos. They're not worth buying. You're better off making one. Otherwise, it should come out soft. You can wrap it around the joint, your shoulder, your hand, whatever it may be. And the nicer ones like this one, we like iReliev. They make an excellent quality one. You could use it for a hot pack as well.
Bob: Yep. Double Whammy.
Brad: Two for the price of one type of deal. Also, you could put some ice in some water for an ice water bath. It's aggressive.
Bob: Oh, very aggressive.
Brad: Yeah, some people like it. It's not going to be for a lot of people.
Brad: So again, cold for 10 to 20 minutes, not longer than 20 minutes is going to be all you need. Again, never on your direct skin. And you know, I think these things can help. No side effects.
Bob: If I hold hands with my wife. She's got cold hands.
Brad: She’s got cold hands and a warm heart.
Brad: You're a lucky man, Bob. All right. Very good. Enjoy the winter. Keep those hands, feet, and joints feeling good.
Bob: Take care.
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