Monthly Archives: January 2011
The type of arthritis pain you are experiencing, or the timing of the pain, determines whether to use heat therapy or cold therapy. You may have to try several things to see what works. Are you having acute pain or is it more of a lingering ache? Is the pain in your hand, or deep in your hip? Here are some quick guidelines to help you decide when to use heat and when to use cold when treating arthritis pain.
When to Use Heat to Treat Arthritis Pain
Therapeutic Heat is most commonly recommended for arthritis pain because it relaxes tendons and ligaments thereby increasing flexibility and decreasing pain. Heat also increases blood flow and improves joint range of motion.
So why the debate over hot or cold? Dr. Sperber says that for acute injuries (sprains, strains, etc.) just about everyone recommends ice, but for chronic conditions, like arthritis, both cold and heat can help reduce inflammation, so it may come down to whichever feels better to you.
As for how heat should be used, there are competing problems. The trick is to get enough heat into the tissue, for long enough, without burning your skin. For example, hands heat up fairly easily because the tissue is not “deep”, but for deep tissue pain, in the hip for instance, you may need to apply a lower temperature for a longer time. There are specific products that address these issues and each product comes with recommended time usage guidelines. Since everyone feels and responds to pain differently, you should discuss a pain management plan with your doctor.
Most Popular Heat Therapy Products
Portable Whirlpool Spas – Get the benefits of a hot tub without the expense of installing one. The ultimate in heat therapy, relaxation, pain relief and stress relief, portable whirlpools are highly recommended by arthritis pain sufferers. And for the ultimate in moist heat, step into your own AromaSteam Portable Steam Sauna!
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Massaging Foot Spas - Get heat and hydrotherapy to your sore arthritic feet fast with a warm, bubbling foot spa. Perfect for stimulating circulation and reviving tired feet.
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Heating Pads - Sometimes deep penetrating heat is the best thing to reduce your arthritis pain. The Thermotex Infrared Heating Pad TTS Platinum model is the most popular infrared model. It is a nice portable size (17” x 15”) and has adjustable straps so you can fit it comfortably almost anywhere on the body.
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Moist Heat – Arthritic and rheumatic pain is often relieved with moist heat. Moist heat increases blood flow, soothing inflamed joints and increasing flexibility. We suggest the Theratherm Digital Electric Moist Heating Pad, the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack or the Thermophore Arthritis Pad. There’s also a Therabeads Moist Heat Mitt that you wear on your hands.
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Light Relief Light Therapy - This popular hand-held device provides topical heating to elevate and/or maintain tissue temperature wherever it is placed. My grandmother uses it to relieve joint pain and she loves it. One of our Allegro customers used it to relieve pain in her dog!
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Paraffin Bath - Dip your hands, feet or elbows in melted paraffin wax and let the intense heat spread through your stiff arthritic joints for fast acting, drug-free therapy. The best one on the market is the Therabath PRO Paraffin Bath. This unit is large enough to accommodate your hands, feet or elbows but small enough to fit on your countertop. It includes hospital grade paraffin with your choice of scents.
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Arthritis Gloves - These specially designed arthritis gloves provide mild compression and warmth for your hands. Heat increases circulation which reduces aches and stiffness. Some people wear them day and night. They have open fingertips so your can feel, touch and grip.
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When to Use Ice to Treat Arthritis Pain
“As a general rule of thumb, ice is best for soft tissue musculoskeletal injuries such as bruises, sprains or acute trauma”, says Dr. Kevin Sperber, Board Certified Pain Management Specialist at Columbia University. “Cold therapy may also be beneficial if you experience a flare of pain after activity. Cold acts as an analgesic by numbing the sore area and can also drastically reduce swelling and discomfort.”
For the most part, doctors recommend cold packs be applied for only 10-20 minutes, then wait 40 or 50 before applying again if necessary. With prolonged application of cold you could hurt yourself, especially if you have sensory problems or impaired vascular circulation in your hands and feet. I’m also told that after 20 minutes or so, your body starts to try to warm itself up again so cold therapy applied longer than that may be counter-productive.
Most Popular Cold Therapy Products:
Frozen Gel Cold Packs - Save your frozen peas and use a pliable, reusable “ice pack” instead. ColPaC makes them in lots of sizes and shapes. Keep ice packs in the freezer and they’ll be ready whenever you have a flare-up. Remember to use layers of dry terry toweling between the cold pack and your skin.
Biofreeze - This topical pain reliever is highly recommended for temporary relief of arthritis, neck pain, back pain, sore muscles and more. You can order it in a tube, roll-on, wipes, spray or gel pump.
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Thousands of Allegro Medical customers have found relief with these products. So can you. Order yours today.
Check out all of our hot/cold therapy products or Shop by Condition: Arthritis to see all arthritis products.
Face it, we live in a world of disposables. And I say ‘hooray’ for those use-and-toss wipes that help us stay healthy, clean and sanitary. Anything pre-treated or pre-moistened with protection, moisture, anti-bacterials, that gets the job done fast is worth its weight in gold.
While I’m at it, I’ll add a hearty ‘well-done’ to the makers of biodegradeable and flushable wipes. If you haven’t tried the personal toilet wipes, it’s time you do yourself and your tush a favor.
Caregivers and parents alike will agree that nothing beats a pop-up pre-moistened wipe for a diaper blow-out. And what’s better than a bed bath using no-rinse disposable washcloths, warmed first in the microwave?
See listed below our full line of skin care wipes including baby wipes, flushable personal wipes, adult incontinence washcloths and disposable bathing systems. We also carry anti-bacterial hand wipes, surface disinfectants, ostomy barrier wipes, adhesive remover wipes, alcohol prep pads, hearing aid wipes and more. So, wipe away!
Disposable Washcloths - Allegro Medical’s most comprehensive selection of adult cleansing washcloths.
See all Skin Care: Handy Wipes
Bathing Cloths - Lightweight, medium-weight or premium, these no-rinse bathing systems conveniently clean, moisturize and condition skin without soap and water. Great for caregivers and patients.
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Shop by Condition: Bedridden
Perineal Care Wipes and Cleansers - Designed for the care and comfort of the perineal area, these products moisturize, deodorize, cleanse and form a protective barrier against incontinence. An important first step for any incontinence care regime.
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Flushable Personal Wipes - Leave the toilet feeling super fresh with these flushable moist wipes designed for personal hygiene. Need relief from hemorrhoids? Try these Medicated Wipes.
Baby Wipes - These super soft, alcohol-free baby wipes clean like a washcloth and gentle enough for baby’s face and hands. Find a selection of value-priced, scented and unscented baby wipes in pop-up cartons or softpaks.
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Hope I haven’t wiped you out with all these choices! Happy shopping – and thanks again for your business.
Maintaining healthy skin can be challenging for anyone, especially in the winter months, but even more so for caregivers and practitioners. Rashes, fungus, skin breakdown or the threat of skin tears are a constant battle and a true test of perseverence. Skin Care is much easier with today’s ultra-formulated medical creams and emollient-rich ointments – available to consumers and caregivers without a prescription.
Allegro’s most popular creams and ointments and are primarily barrier type or moisturizing products designed to help protect and heal skin irritations from incontinence, diaper rash, wound drainage, fistulas, feeding tube leakage, minor burns and perspiration. We also carry specialized skin products and antifungals for specific skin conditions. Browse our Shop by Condition: Skin Conditions area to find all of Allegro Medical’s top skin care and personal care products.
Top 10 Most Popular Creams and Ointments
Sween 24 Superior Moisturizing Protectant Cream- This long-acting once-a-day moisturizer soothes dry, flaky, itchy skin. Fragrance and lanolin-free. Contains 6% Dimethicone. Easily applied, readily absorbed and silky.
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Remedy Skin Repair Cream - Specially formulated for those at risk for skin breakdown. Remedy Skin Repair uses water molecules to moisturize and deliver nutrients of Olivamine to the cells. Also provides relief to dry skin and protects and relieves damage caused by frequent hand washing. Ideal as a facial moisturizer. Available in 4 oz tubes, 2 oz tubes, 32 oz pump or Remedy Skin Repair Kit
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Calmoseptine Ointment - Contains calamine, zinc oxide, menthol and lanolin to provide a multipurpose moisture barrier. Protects and heals skin irritations from feeding tube leaks, incontinence, burns, scrapes, diaper rash, wound drainage, fecal or vaginal fistulas and moisture. Temporary relief from discomfort and itching.
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Bacitracin Zinc Ointment – 1/32 oz foilpac - Compares to Baciguent. Used topically to prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns. Ask a doctor before using this in the case of deep or puncture wounds, animal bites or serious burns. Don’t use longer than a week without talking to your doc.
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Aloe Vesta 3-n-1 Protective Ointment - An ideal barrier and ointment for routine incontinence care. This easy-to-apply petrolatum-based ointment provides an effective barrier that seals out moisture, contains protein-rich emollients and is non-sensitizing and fragrance free.
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Aloe Vesta Antifungal Ointment- Cures most superficial fungal infections with 2% Miconazole Nitrate in a petrolatum base. Ideal for treating athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch.
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BAZA Antifungal Cream - This anti-fungal is also a moisture barrier against urine and feces. The zinc-oxide based formula with 2% Miconazole Nitrate inhibits fungal growth and treats yeast/monilia, jock itch, ringworm and athletes foot. Another very popular antifungal moisture barrier, formulated for perineal skin irritation due to fungal infection is the Critic-Aid Clear AF.
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Sween Cream Moisturizing Body Cream - Cracked knees or elbows? Red, sore, irritated skin? Look no further. Sween Cream is known the world over for its ability to immediately restore dry, fragile skin at risk for cracking. Non-occlusive formula absorbs quickly. Won’t interfere with the adhesion of tape or ostomy appliances.
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Atrac-Tain Moisturizing Cream - Superior moisturizing relief for severely afflicted dry, scaly and cracked skin conditions. Contains 10% Urea and 4% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (lactic acid). Fragrance and preservative free. Safe for sensitive skin.
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Medseptic Skin Protectant Cream - This superior moisturizer is formulated to treat adult diaper dermatitis, denuded skin and minor burns. Contains 50% USP approved lanolin. Recommended by the Foot and Ankle Institute for diabetic patients to help hold moisture in, especially on the feet, ankles, elbows and hands.
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Shop by Condition: Diabetes
My Personal Favorite – Deep Healing Foot Cream - Diabetic feet, sensitive feet or not, you’re heels will love this cream. It contains mineral oil, urea, lanolin and vitamins A, D & E. Also works great on hands. I use it every night before bed. It’s non-greasy and safe for all your body parts. Get some!
Here’s wishing you clear, smooth skin throughout your life. As always, we appreciate your business and thank you for being an Allegro customer.
Starting the year with a list of New Year’s Resolutions may be as commonplace as ending the year without them. Perhaps therein lies the problem – starting with a list of resolutions intead of just one specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (S.M.A.R.T.) goal . . . but I digress. Below are a few tricks to improve your chances of making the right resolution(s) and seeing them through to success. You can do it!
5 Tips for Successful Resolutions
1. Define Feelings First. Sometimes we set “the wrong goals”. We think that accomplishing a certain goal will make us feel the way we want to feel. For example, you may resolve to lose weight, or stop smoking, reduce stress, or spend more time with the kids/spouse/family, etc. but really what you want is to have more energy or to stop worrying about your immortality, or to stop feeling anxious. Maybe you want to rid yourself of shame. Or to feel more connected or safe or grounded. Whatever you want, your feelings may not be realized or satisfied if you set the wrong goal. Start by defining the feeling and then pinpoint the things that make you feel that way, essentially backing into a goal. If you ever say “I’m tired of feeling (fill in the blank).” That’s a good place to start. Connect the dots back to a goal that, when accomplished, will make you feel the way you want to.
2. Tell the Truth. If, say, your resolution is to eat healthy and work out every day - and these have been your resolutions every year for as long as you can remember, then perhaps you need to come clean about why you’re failing. Ask yourself WHY it is hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round. Get your answer and then ask WHY THAT is happening. Keep interrogating yourself, fleshing out your excuses until you get to the truth. Be honest. It might not be pretty, but it is a place to start.
3. Break it Down. So you’ve decided that your goal is to feel proud and confident in your clothes. Breaking it down further, you want to look hot in your jeans and get positive feedback, compliments – whistles even. This could mean you need to lose weight, gain weight, buy new jeans, change your shoes, firm up your fanny or a number of other things. Point is, you are drilling down to a goal that can be measured and tracked.
4. Say it Out Loud! It’s part of the Secret, and it seems to work. Anyone who knows the power of prayer will agree that something about making your intentions, plans and wishes known to the universe makes them more likely to happen. Try articulating your goals and dreams out loud – often. Put them on the fridge or write them on the bathroom mirror. Say your goals with confidence to yourself and others. Don’t worry about failing or looking like a fool. Ignore the naysayers and negative people. The people who care about you will support you. Those who don’t, don’t matter.
5. Plot Your Strategy. Research your options, make your goals measurable and seek help. Monitor your progress and adjust if necessary, but don’t give up. Gather the right tools to measure and chart your success. In the case of weight loss or health improvement, you can use Diagnostic Products such as Body Fat Analyzers, Pedometers, Home Test Kits and Scales. If you make your goals and progress visible, you will remain committed and motivated.
Whatever you do, remember to reward yourself along the way! Good luck.
Helpful Health Monitors and Aids
Track your blood pressure and cholesterol with the Cholestrak Test Kit, Resperate BP Reducer, Automatic Wrist Digital Blood Pressure Monitor, or Talking Blood Pressure Monitor.
Protect your family with a Smoke Detector w/Strobe & Battery Backup or Carbon Monoxide Detector w/Strobe.
Rest easier with a Better Sleep Pillow, Sleepmatterzzz Pillow, D-Core Pillow or Butterfly Pillow.
Be on time with the Sonic Bomb Alarm, Sonic Boom Alarm or SunRise Alarm Clock.