Heat Vs Cold: Which Is Better For An Arthritic Joint?

Common Symptoms Of Arthritis


Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints from within and can cause marked discomfort. While arthritis affects the knee joint in most cases, it is possible for the joints of your shoulders, hip, and elbows. Let us get to know the commonest symptoms of arthritis.


  • Pain

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A joint in your body that is affected with arthritis is almost always painful. An orthopaedic doctor in Mumbai will always evaluate the symptom of pain in detail before confirming the diagnosis of arthritis. The nature, intensity, and frequency with which an arthritic joint pains determines the severity of the disease.


  • Stiffness

Senior woman suffering from hand and finger joint pain inflammation

Arthritis causes internal inflammation ranging from mild to severe intensity which hampers the functional ability of the affected joint. Patients suffering from arthritis often complain of stiff joints. The stiffness is more marked after a long night’s sleep or after a long period of keeping the joint in one position.


  • External Inflammation

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Any joint replacement specialist in Breach Candy hospital Mumbai, will examine patients for external joint inflammation before proceeding with their treatment. An arthritic joint is swollen, painful to touch, with possible reddish discoloration of the overlying skin.


  • Lack Of Mobility

Photo elderly woman massage her foot with painful swollen gout inflammation

A stiff and painful joint is often difficult to move. Patients with arthritis may experience marked discomfort while performing activities that involve the affected joint. People with severe arthritis may also develop an odd posture or walk with an abnormal gait due to a stiff joint.

Fomentation Therapy For Arthritis: Cold Vs Hot


Fomentation therapy is the easiest and most effective first-aid treatment to curb symptoms of joint complaints like arthritis. Fomentation involves exposing the affected joint to hold or cold temperature to treat the damaged tissue. Hot and cold fomentation are both equally effective, when utilized correctly. Your joint replacement surgeon in Mumbai will recommend fomentation to curb the symptoms of arthritis. Let us see the benefits and indications of both types of fomentation therapy.


  • Cold Fomentation

Фото Крупным планом женщина, применяя холодный компресс к ее болезненному запястью, вызванному длительной работой на компьютере, ноутбуке. кистевой туннельный синдром

Cold temperature lessens the acute pain and swelling of an arthritic joint and gives temporary symptomatic relief. Acute injuries to the joint lead to sudden inflammation which increases the blood flow to the joint. Cold temperature reduces the excess blood flow and prevents the joint from swelling. Patients can use ice cubes wrapped in a soft cloth or ice packs for cold fomentation.


  • Hot Fomentation

Hand hold hot red water bottle on woman knee to healing pain on grungy wood

While cold fomentation is more suited to treat acute symptoms of arthritis, chronic complaints respond better to hot fomentation. Patients with chronic arthritis often complain of stiff joints and painful joint motion. Hot fomentation relaxes the stiff joint tissue and the muscles supporting the joint, thus enabling easy movement. Patients are prescribed hot water bags or may use towels soaked in warm or hot water for hot fomentation.


Fomentation therapy is a form of first aid or supplementary treatment that cannot replace mainstream medication therapy or surgery. Fomentation may not be suitable to all the joint complaints in all stages of arthritis. Patients are advised to consult with their doctor before starting fomentation therapy at home.

Dr. Amyn Rajani is a joint replacement surgeon based in Mumbai, India. He specializes in treating painful arthritic joint problems using joint replacement surgery. If you are experiencing pain in your joints due to arthritis, it is best to consult with a specialist like Dr. Rajani to determine the best course of treatment for your condition. Book an Appointment at 91-88989 75355, 91-22-23619137.

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