Ice for Osteoarthritis Is Shown To Relieve the Pain

Ice for Osteoarthritis

Is a packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel as good as this expensive human deep freeze?

This is an interesting new form of an old tried and trusted therapy. Using ice for osteoarthritis has long been advocated by therapists (including myself) but this is taking it to a whole new level. Now they are suggesting that freezing the whole body down to a -80°C is the way to do it. 

Click on this link if you want to read the details of this new treatment pod which will ice for osteoarthritis in any joint at the Daily Mail Online.

Do You Need to Freeze the Whole Body to Ice for Osteoarthritis in a Single Joint?

Personally I doubt it. I can understand why they work for athletes. The soccer players I used to work with used them after training and matches to prevent niggles in any part of the body from becoming problems. However if they had an injury we always suggesting icing about 5 times a day so it was impractical for them to come to the club and take an ice bath. Also what is the point?

The reason you use ice is to decrease the blood flow to an area. That in turn will reduce inflammation which, when excessive or chronic, causes pain. (You do need some to make an area heal up though). But why do you need to reduce the blood flow to all your limbs and divert it to the body’s vital organs, if only one or two joints are affected? It simply isn’t logical.

The example used in the artilce is a guy who has OA on both knees and he found he got significant improvement and could skip for the first time in years, but the only treatment he had tried was anti-inflammatory medication and surgery! Why had he not iced his actual knees?

The answer is that surgeons would think a packet of frozen peas as a prescription would not be clever enough. But you don’t have to get clever, or for something to cost thousands of dollars with for it to be an effective form of treatment.

You Have to Know How to Ice for Osteoarthritis Properly.

Each joint is different. You must apply the ice pack correctly and leave it on for the right amount of time. If you leave ice on for too long you will over decrease the blood flow too much and prevent any healing. Plus you risk a cold burn. If you don’t do it for long enough you are wasting your time.

In my series of books, How to Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally,  I explain how to use ice for osteoarthritis in each particular joint. I also explain when you should use it and when heat does a better job. You will need to use both if you really want to control your symptoms.

You can read about these books here.

I do believe ice for osteoarthritis is one of the most effective forms of pain relief you can use. It is simple, cheap and can be used at home with little fuss or bother. You really don’t need to create a human size deep freezer to do it either!

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6 Responses to Ice for Osteoarthritis Is Shown To Relieve the Pain

  1. Susan Koosh says:

    Do you have pain relief information specifically related to severe osteoarthritis in the subtalar joint (below ankle)? I am 41-year-old female, former athlete, subtalar joint is blown (bone on bone) from past injuries and have been struggling with the pain of severe osteoarthritis. I have consulted with multiple orthopedic surgeons and a fusion has been suggested as an option for pain relief. I am also aware of the risks and the complexity of the procedure. Any information/resources you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Vikki Karlgaard says:

    While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But osteoarthritis treatments can slow the progression of the disease, relieve pain and improve joint function.

  3. Sandra Goldstein says:

    Very useful information, many thanks. Ice has always been my first port of call for any sort of pain, and when I developed osteoarthritis I bought myself a range of ice packs for my ankles. My pain varies. Luckily it’s mild most of the time and only bad if I walk too great of a distance, like round the supermarket or mall. That’s when I reach for the ice packs. I know it’s only numbing the pain and won’t necessarily make it stop, but if I don’t feel it for a while I can relax and watch TV without the irritation. That’s a big help. I’ll check out your book on Amazon just to see if I have my technique right, but at this stage I have no plans for my whole body to be encased in ice. That sounds like an overkill to me.

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