Heat and Circulation

For some reason we’ve gotten into the habit of using ice and cold packs on our injuries. Sure, it can slow down swelling, but it slows the swelling by shrinking your blood vessels and preventing fluid and immune cells from moving into the injured area. The problem with ice packs is that they prevent your body from naturally healing the injury. Heat and circulation are essential to healing. You need those blood vessels dilated so the blood carrying oxygen and immune cells can reach the site.

What does this have to do with arthritis? Our fingers and knees and wrists, etc that are swollen and fluid-filled need to drain. Putting heat on them opens the blood vessels and improves circulation. Increased circulation=more drainage of fluid and nutrients getting to the joint to heal and remove waste.  Sure, it could also mean more immune attackers getting to the site, but that was happening anyways. So, use heat to heal!

I use a sock with rice and heat it up in the microwave for 2 minutes. My mom also got me a really nice buckwheat filled neck warmer awhile ago and you heat that up in the microwave for two minutes also.

Just be sure you only leave the heating pad on each area for 20 minutes, otherwise you’ll cook yourself. And do wrist circles and “finger crunches” too…it helps with circulation.

Just keep yourself moving, use heat pads, and take hot baths to increase your circulation and speed up healing!


~ by thetruthaboutjra on March 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “Heat and Circulation”

  1. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Cathy

  2. An interesting read – some good tips here

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