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How can heat help ease aches and pains?

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A warm shower or bath, hot water bottle, or warm cloth can help relax muscles and ease muscle spasms. A heating pad with an automatic off switch is better than a regular heating pad, which can burn skin if left on too long.

Be careful with microwavable heating pads, as these can have hot spots that burn. Apply heat to the sore area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours. Don’t use heat on open wounds.

Arthritis Today : "5 Steps to Pain Relief."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mind Body Exercises."

Drugs: "Pain Management in the Elderly."

Health in Aging: "Eldercare at Home: Pain," "Pain Management."

Hospice: "How to Relieve Pain Without Medicine."

The AGS Panel on Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons, , August 2009. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Kaye, A. , fall 2010. The Ochsner Journal

National Health Service: “TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).”

Mayo Clinic: “Self-care approaches to treating pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

Arthritis Today : "5 Steps to Pain Relief."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mind Body Exercises."

Drugs: "Pain Management in the Elderly."

Health in Aging: "Eldercare at Home: Pain," "Pain Management."

Hospice: "How to Relieve Pain Without Medicine."

The AGS Panel on Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons, , August 2009. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Kaye, A. , fall 2010. The Ochsner Journal

National Health Service: “TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).”

Mayo Clinic: “Self-care approaches to treating pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

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How can cold therapy help ease aches and pains?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.