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How often should I use heat or cold therapy for arthritis pain?

ANSWER

Try to use moist heat or ice packs at least twice a day for the best relief from pain and stiffness.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, five to 10-minute ice massages applied to a painful area within the first 48 hours of pain onset can provide relief. So can heat, which relaxes the muscles. Heat should be used for pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: "Use Heat and Cold."

American College of Rheumatology: "Back Pain."

American Physical Therapy Association: "What You Need to Know About Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "Back Pain."

McIlwain, H. and Bruce, D. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 19, 2017

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: "Use Heat and Cold."

American College of Rheumatology: "Back Pain."

American Physical Therapy Association: "What You Need to Know About Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "Back Pain."

McIlwain, H. and Bruce, D. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 19, 2017

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