Many doctors recommend the use of cold compresses to soothe irritated joints and bring down inflammation in RA sufferers. Just apply a cold compress to the most painful area for 15 minutes and then allow a 30 minute break before applying again. Recent studies have shown that this is one of the most beneficial ways to ease the pain of stiff joints and inflammation. This technique is referred to as Cryotherapy. Cryotherapy comes in many forms. Cold packs, frozen peas, or even specifically shaped devices and pads that form fit certain parts of the body are available at most health stores. Another popular technique for easing pain is to take a nice soak in a tub of cold water. You should talk with your doctor and see if cold therapy is right for you.
Heat therapy is also an extremely effective way to ease the pain of arthritis. Heat naturally relaxes your body and stimulates blood flow, which reduces swelling. Some of the easiest ways to apply heat therapy is with a hot moist towel or a nice hot shower. Just standing under the flow of a hot shower allowing the spray to hit your most painful areas is a very effective way to relieve pain and stress. Or just a dip in a hot tub will work wonders for your pain. Of course, if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant, or have heart disease, you should avoid hot tubs.