The past history
Persons affected by pain normally prefer applying heat to the affected area. This procedure can be, but is not always right. There are lots of household remedies which are given preference when there is pain. Hot-water bottles are very popular and the red light lamp might also still be available in many households. Furthermore, heat-producing medication is available in every pharmacy or drugstore. They are sold in the form of lointments, creams and the so-called "thermal patch". The pain-ridden patient most probably applies the hot-water bottle first and, if that does not help, progresses to the next remedy. The measures escalate and the patient hardly realizes that all these remedies have something in common: heat.
Professional help is sought only if household remedies and medicine remain ineffective and the pain persists. The doctor listens to the complaints of his patient patiently and prescribes ointments and other heat-producing medications together with strong pain killers and anti-inflammatories.
Perhaps he transfers the patient to a physiotherapist. Mudpacks, massage and therapeutic exercise are then carried out here. These are also irritating therapies. If all of this does not have the desired effect, a rheumatologist or an orthopedist is then consulted. However, these competent experts practically pursue the same course of treatment. Perhaps the only difference lies in the fact that their treatments require even more prescriptions and, consequently, cause more side effects than those of their therapeutic predecessors.
If the complaints do not improve in spite of all these treatments, a rehabilitation health cure is then taken into consideration. Here, under (almost) clinical conditions, the whole course of treatment is repeated and, in all likelihood, the insurance company will have to support another early retiree.
A common complaint is that in spite of the treatment the pain did not decrease, but actually increased. "That is what happens with rheumatism", the saying goes. However, what does a person do when pain starts? His hand glides to the painful area and gives massages himself. Provided that it is still a minor irritation, the pain will not be reduced but actually increases. The patient thinks that his self-help was not sufficient and increases the intensity. The original irritation can thus turn into a massive inflammation in relatively short time.
In principle, both conditions (irritation and inflammation) only differ in intensity. In the case of an inflammation nobody would apply hot mudpacks. This would be inconceivable for a moderately acute appendicitis, but out of the question for alleviating rheumatic pain, although the two conditions are, in principle, not very different.
To come to the point, the remedy described here can only be considered as First Aid and may reinforce other treatments. The aim is to decrease the existing irritation, rather than increase it by applying the wrong treatment methods.
Ice is what is needed here. It must, however, be pointed out that any pain which has been treated unsuccessfully with heat, will in all probability react positively to cold. This can be determined by a test. IMPORTANT:
Any pain that is not significantly reduced after being treated for 30 second with cold, requires heat, and vice versa.
The use of cold is not new. The instruction to use cold never longer than 30 seconds is new, however. You should always respect this time frame. Otherwise there is the danger that the body might react with an increased circulation and, therefore, with additional heat.
If the application of cold was right, an immediate decrease of the complaints can be observed. This, b y the way, also applies to stiff joints. It is, however, possible that the improvement achieved will only last for a short time. This does not mean that the application of cold was ineffective because miracle cures are not possible with ice either. The ice should be repeated whenever the complaints increase again. After the first ice application the pain may decrease for only one minute. When ice is again applied, the relief will be longer. The original one-minute relief then lasts two minutes. Thereafter, if ice is applied repeatedly, the pain-free interval will become longer and longer. With this procedure an extreme irritation is gradually reduced.
Now the questions remains: how do you prepare your own ice pack? For this you do not require any expensive materials. You have everything you need right at home: either a freezer or a refrigerator with a freezer compartment. Remove a frozen item and wrap it in a wet towel. After you have used this ice-pack (never more than 30 seconds at a time), return it to your freezer.
That is all. However, please remember that the ice-pack is no remedy. It is only meant to help the body heal itself. Please also remember that massages and ointments for rheumatism, etc. are contraindicated if the application of ice provides relief for you.