Hot or Cold

I don't always want to reach out and take yet another pill for my pain, I take about 50 a day anyway for other medical conditions, I have found that depending on the pain I use either heat, a heat pad or a hairdryer or I used compresses which have been in ice cold water. If the pain is long term then I use a relaxation or meditation techniques. Does anyone else us different ways to off set their pain?

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  • I can't tolerate heat at all, not sure why. Ice packs are the way to go for me, especially when my joints are very swollen. I've tried a TENS machine and while it's great for general muscle aches and pains, it did nothing for my RA pain. My physio said TENS machines aren't that great for joint pain which I'd agree with. I've started 'swimming' aka floating, very gentle stretching and walking in the pool for 20 mins once a week. While I'm in the pool, I feel good, so it's hard to contain myself and not overdo it because I'll suffer for the rest of the week if I overdo it. This week, I'm going to try an aqua therapy class which is special for people with disabilities and physical conditions/injuries. I'll report back. ;)

  • Hello fruitycake, thank you for your response. I too tried a TENS machine and had the same results as you, it didn't work. We that's me and my partner/carer used to go swimming and it was lovely floating around and then we'd aqua arobic for a while. I then had another huge flair up so we stopped. I have asked my RA consultant to refer me to hydrotherapy. I had access to that when I lived in south Devon but there's nothing here in the Brighton area. I have to get back into swimming, it is also the only form of exercise I can do. Please let me know how you get on with the aqua classes.

    Thanks again

  • Before I was diagnosed I was wearing ski gloves to bed to keep my hands warm!

  • I crave heat like there's no tomorrow and can't face ice packs even when I suffer swelling. This might be because I lost a lot of weight though but it's very handy in relation to the washing up or cleaning bathrooms - my favourite housework tasks these days as opposed to hoovering!

  • Ice in some areas, and heat in others (often both at the same time) works for me. I do have to be careful with both though, as I can end up with blistered skin - particularly if I go to sleep with a hottie over a painful area. I also think that psychological techniques (including just things like distraction) can work quite well too. None of this will completely relieve the pain of inflammation though, but even if self help just drops it down one or two points on the pain scale, that can make the difference between being able to deal with it and not.

    But, having said all that, for ages I wasn't taking anywhere near enough pain relief and was ending up getting incredibly cranky and just not coping with work or ordinary tasks. I wasn't nice to be near. I hated the thought of getting dependent on pain relief, but eventually decided that in order to get on with life, I needed to be taking serious pain relief far more regularly. It has made a huge difference to me and I wish I hadn't held off taking pain relief for as long as I did. If you need it, you need it, and there is no point in half measures or taking less than you need.

  • Ice on the knees and heat on the hands ;-)

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