A 34-year-old female asked:
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what's the best treatment or therapy for osteoarthritis? heat or cold?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Jay Bayer
Dr. Jay Bayer answered
50 years experience Family Medicine
Arthritis : The wear and tear of joints. First confirm diagnosis. Is it due trauma, overuse. In general the problem is poor joint mechanics leading to deterioration of cartilage between joint. Heat great in am best moist heat. Penetrates get circulation going. After activities use cold to joint to reduce swelling exercise or overuse. Ask doc about proper use, don't overdo. Nite, heat followed by cold- hot-col.
Answered on Mar 30, 2013
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Dr. Blake Miller
12 years experience Orthopedic Surgery
Depends: Heat is good when getting ready for physical activity. It warms the synovial fluid and helps with lubrication. At the end of the day, ice is an excellent anti-inflammatory and better after physical activity.
Answered on Mar 30, 2013
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1 thank
Dr. Pierre Moeser
Specializes in Rheumatology
Like a motor: Think of a motor like your car's engine. A cold (stiff) engine does better when heated and a stiff joint benefits from heat. An overworked engine or joint needs to cool down.
Answered on May 19, 2013

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