Arthritis causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. This makes everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, difficult. Although there is no cure for arthritis, medical treatment can help control it and limit its effects.
If you suffer from arthritis, connective tissue disease or another disorder of the soft tissues, joints and muscles, contact Lake Regional Arthritis and Rheumatism about treatment options. Rheumatologist Miriam Borden, M.D., diagnoses and treats patients with the following conditions.
- Joint and back pain
- Soft-tissue rheumatism, including tendinitis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Connective-tissue diseases, such as lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis
- Other diseases of the soft tissues, joints and muscles
In addition to caring for patients at Lake Regional Arthritis and Rheumatism, Dr. Borden also oversees infusion treatments for her patients in Lake Regional Hospital's Multiservices Department. Infusion therapy, also called intravenous or IV therapy, is used to treat some cases of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory back disease.
Using heat and cold to ease arthritis pain
Temperature therapy can be an effective way to relieve arthritis symptoms.
Temperature therapy: How to use heat and cold to ease arthritis pain
Heat and cold treatments are two of the most effective ways to ease arthritis pain. They work differently though. Select heat or cold to get some ideas for when and how to use each type of therapy.
Heat improves circulation. Use it to relax muscles and soothe sore joints.
- Make a hot pack by putting a wet washcloth in a freezer bag and heating it in the microwave. Wrap it in a towel and use it on sore spots.
- Rub mineral oil on your hands, put on rubber gloves and place your hands in hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat your clothes in the dryer before getting dressed in the morning.
- Use a warm paraffin wax treatment system for sore joints in the hands or feet.
- Take a warm shower or bath to relieve stiffness.
- Place a heating pad over the painful area.
Limit heat therapy to no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Don't apply heat packs or pads to bare skin.
Cold restricts blood vessels and slows circulation. It also numbs nerve endings. Use it to reduce swelling and ease acute pain.
- Immerse a painful joint in a cold bath of ice and water.
- Make a cold pack by wrapping a towel around a bag of ice or frozen vegetables. Apply the pack to the painful area two to four times a day.
- Wrap a cold gel pack in a towel and place it on the affected area. Make your own pack by mixing 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 2 cups of water and freezing it in a ziplock bag.
Limit cold therapy to no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Don't apply cold packs to bare skin.
FEEL BETTER: Learn other methods for feeling better by taking our chronic pain quiz.
Source: Arthritis Foundation
In 2016, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized Lake Regional Rheumatology as a Patient-Centered Specialty Practice for its responsiveness to patients and medical colleagues, its cooperation and integration with other health care groups, and its dedication to continuous improvement.
NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice recognition distinguishes practices that communicate, collaborate and integrate care in ways that patients want and that improve quality.