Heat vs. Ice

Tips Anyone?

So, usually when my feet swell it’s because of the heat, so icing helps calm them down, but right now my big toe is super flared up and I can’t decide if heat or ice would help more. Warm showers do seem to do some good, so I’m leaning towards heat, but I’m not sure because there’s also some awful burning pain that I feel would like some ice.

How do you decide which to use? Or is it just trial and error?

A general rule that a lot of people tend to use is that if the joint is hot ice it, and if it’s not hot and/or stiff, then use heat. I tend to avoid ice on my hands and feet like the plague because I have raynaud’s, so if I’m willing to use ice on my hands and feet it must be really bad.

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I agree with Stoney. I also have raynauds but if the burning is bad ice works well for me

Good to know - the combination of the swelling and stiffness and burning is just throwing me off. I’ve done both ice and heat to good results so far, so maybe I’ll just continue to alternate.

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Ice worked great for the neuropathy on my soles, but doesn’t do much for the bone on bone pain in my arches. Warm Epsom salt soaks might help.

I did some epsom soaks and that really does seem to be helping. Got bad enough to go to the Rheum and get a cortisone shot in the joint so the swellings gone down appreciably, but it’s still super tender to walk on. The whole toe feels kind of raw if I actually roll on it when I walk. I’m hoping it goes away soon because there’s a lot of house work that needs done before winter hits.

I have Raynaud’s and cold intolerance, it’s always heat for me. Heat packs, heating pad, electric blanket, you name it! I feel like some gentle range of motion excercises with heat helps move some of the inflammatory goodies and get me feeling a bit better.

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