Is heat good for knee pain?

Whether the knee pain is due to sprain or arthritis, or due to prolonged injury, there are several ways to fight the pain. Heat therapy is one of the best ways to reduce knee pain. Heat is the best way to relax the muscles, reduce chronic pain, and remove the stress.

Before you attempt the heat therapy for the knee pain, get a proper check-up done. After 48 to 72 hours after injury and use of cold therapy, warming up or heat therapy twice or thrice a day can help in relaxing the stiffened muscles which may be a reason for the knee pain.

Heat expands the blood vessels, kindles blood circulation, and lessens muscle spasms. Also, heat alters the consciousness of pain. Dry heat (like heating pad, heat lamp, etc.) or moist heat (like warm bath, heated wash cloth, etc.) is suitable for relaxing the muscles, thereby reducing the pain.

When using moist heat therapy, precaution should be taken seeing that the temperature is not so hot that it may burn the skin. A comfortably tolerant temperature should be selected, whether using a bath, hot water bottle, or spa therapy, giving some time or break in between. Also, a break of nearly 15 minutes is necessary before going to exercise after heat therapy. And, immediately after the exercise, go for heat therapy. Additional moist heat therapy helps in reducing arthritis pain.

Using the following popular types of heat therapy helps a lot in reducing arthritis pain:

  • Throw away heat patches or belts
  • Hot water swimming pool
  • Hot packs &  moist heating pad
  • A therapeutic mixture of paraffin and mineral oil
  • A warm bath or shower
  • A warm, wet towel or cloth massage

A steady heat flowing on the arthritic joint or pain site helps to keep pain minimum and allows for more natural movement.

A right combination of hot packs and ice packs is the best to get the most relief from pain and to make it easier to manage arthritis.