Heat? Or Cold? Yes? #socs

As part of my coping with a pair of arthritic knees, I’ve wondered whether hot compresses or cold ones are the best to take the pain out of them. From what I gather from the things I’ve read online, the answer is “yes.” Apparently it’s a matter of doing both at different times.

Cold is no problem: I’ve been using Biofreeze, which Mary learned about when she was in massage therapy school. It seems to really work well, albeit temporarily, but it’s better than anything else, and doesn’t smell too bad, either. Compared to something like Ben-Gay, it’s almost pleasant, and the best thing is, it wears off pretty well after a while. The question isw, should I buy myself a heating pad, or just go with washcloths soaked in hot water to give myself the heat therapy?

I did speak with a physical therapist, who suggested aquatic therapy, i.e. exercising in a pool. Several of you suggested this as well, and I had been thinking this way for a while. The problem is that I need to find pool shoes, shoes that I can wear in the pool while I work on a treadmill. You would think it wouldn’t be hard to find them, except I have these huge feet, size 10 ½ 6E, and so far I haven’t been able to find any that big. I mean, they must be available, because I’m sure athletes, particularly football players, have huge feet and need to take advantage of aquatic therapy for some of the injuries they sustain, but trying to find them has been more difficult than I anticipated. Sure, pool shoes are available, but not in the width I need, so I think I need to start asking people who might know. Luckily, my orthopedics guy was team doctor at the local high school and university. I guess I’ll ask him.

Wish me luck.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from our sponsors.

26 thoughts on “Heat? Or Cold? Yes? #socs

  1. hey John.
    The absolute best heating pad that I have used for years is the Thermipaq clay heating pad. You heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and it stays hot for a really long time. I’m on my 3rd one. I use it for my back ALL THE TIME! Best in my opinion.
    Here’s a link to it at Walmart. You can find it elsewhere and I didn’t do any additional searches for it. It comes in 2 sizes that I know of: medium and x-large. I have the x-large one that measures 9.5″x16″. The other measures something like 6×12.
    I actually buy two so I have a spare when I need one (like when my dog got ahold of it and punctured the clay covering).

    Hope this is helpful.


    Michele at Angels Bark


  2. I used biofreeze when doing jersey after a knee replacement, worked geeat. Have you thought of those lidocaine patches advertised? I think Shaq O. does the ads. I’m allergic to lidocaine so i don’t know if they work


    1. It’s a thought, although those might be more for muscles. But, the muscles need some love, too, especially since they have to work that hard.I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks!


    1. As I’ve told many people, I turn off spell check and especially autocorrect, because I’d rather misspell a word than have it replace something I’ve written with something totally inappropriate. Spell check for me was the nuns at school telling me that a misspelled word was a nail in the Hand of Jesus…


  3. All sorts of theories out there. Last physical therapy sessions I went to for my knees at the end of the work out they used ice for about ten minutes then heat for about 10 minutes. Another theory I heard is ice for bones and joints, and heat for muscles and soft tissue. I don’t have the answer.


    1. Ice for bones and joints sounds about right, although I had a strained ligament in my foot and the podiatrist said to use ice. Some combination of heat and ice sounds like it might work (Mary learned about that kind of treatment in massage therapy school); maybe I’ll try that.


    1. I think I found a place that might have what I need. Problem is, the biggest they come is 5E, but I think if I get a larger size (say a 12 or so) they might work out. Amazon was the first place I checked, and all of theirs are in D width. That’as wy too small. My usual source for extra-wide shoes didn’t order any this year, evidently, but I found a place that might help, and I’ll call them Monday. They’d be likely to order them if they didn’t have them.

      Trust me, Ben-Gay and other therapeutic rubs are becoming my friends. Biofreeze seems to work really well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck in finding shoes, John. In regard to another heat source, get yourself a bag of white rice and fill a long knee-high sock with it. Tie the end. Then put in the microwave for 2 minutes. This works great for the neck or any part of the body where you need to wrap or mold the heat source. Make sure, however, that you replace the rice once in a while.


  5. Good luck with the shoes 🙂
    Swimming is the best for arthritis. Dr says same.
    I don’t have flares in my legs often, but sometimes my hips and the other exercise I like for that is the recumbent bike. Might give that a shot while you’re huntin shoes?
    I LOVE my heating pad. Mineral ice, Icy hot, not particularly effective for me and I guess I always put Biofreeze in the same category? I like Blue Emu for my hands, doesn’t last long, but sometimes it’s just nice to have some time without pain.


  6. I love my heating pad and have it on right now. I don’t swell so cold doesn’t work for me. I also love those bean bag pads..they come in square or long log style which is what I have. You heat it up in the microwave and it is excellent for joints. You can Places it in the freezer too and it holds the cold.


You can use Markdown in your comments. Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s