Which Is Better For Joint Pain: Heat or Ice?

Anytime you experience pain in a joint, you probably have someone tell you to put an ice pack on it, while someone else tells you to use the heating pad. Both have their advantages and are great ways to save time and money on medical care, but how do you know which one to apply? The short answer is that it depends on what’s causing that pain.

Applying Ice To An Injury

Ice works best for injuries that occurred within the last 48 hours. Perhaps you twisted an ankle or knee and have experienced some minor swelling and pain. An ice pack can restrict the blood vessels and reduce the amount of bleeding into the tissues, reducing the inflammation that is causing the pain and swelling.

Applying Heat To An Injury

Heat works best for pain that comes from chronic conditions. For example, maybe you have a knee that becomes sore or stiff at the end of the day. Heat opens up the blood vessels to improve circulation and relax the muscles in the affected area.


In the case of arthritis, which is one of the most common reasons for joint pain, a combination of both can relieve the pain. If you experience a burning sensation and swelling in the joints, a few minutes of cold application can help reduce it. If the pain is more like soreness or stiffness, heat is the best option.

Safety Tips for Icing and Heating Joint Pain and Injuries

  • Only apply the heat or ice for up to 20 minutes in one sitting.
  • Keep a towel or cloth between your skin and the heat or ice to avoid burns.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Never apply heat or ice to broken skin or skin with a rash.
  • If you have heart or circulation problems, avoid using cold packs, particularly in your neck, chest, and arms.
  • If the skin becomes red, numb, or blistered while applying heat or cold, stop immediately.

If you are experiencing joint pain, there may be more to the issue than you realize. Contact Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness today or call us at 678-482-4400 to learn more.

What Can I Do About My Constant Shoulder Pain

Most people assume the shoulder is just one joint, but it is actually a series of joints, tendons, and muscles that make it possible for you to move your arms. When you are cooking, swimming, driving, writing, typing, cleaning, gardening, or doing anything else that involves arm movement, you are using your shoulder more than you think.

Unfortunately, being such a useful part of the body often leads to pain in the shoulder. It can be mild or severe, and it may last for a day or two or it could become a chronic problem called frozen shoulder. That is why it is important to get to the root of the issue and ably proper treatment.

Standard Treatment?

Often standard MRI, and x-rays don’t reveal a problem in the actual joint. Many of these patients are sent home with medication and are told it will just take time. Frozen Shoulder can last for months to years. These patients are often in horrible pain, they can’t sleep, work, or even wash their own backs. It is truly an unknown in the traditional medical community of the cause.

Don’t Do Treatment Under Anesthesia

Many of our patients will come and see me after they have had treatment under anesthesia. The treatment is basically they make you unconscious and put your shoulder through full range of motion in the attempt to break up all the adhesions in the joint capsule. The success rate is very low and the pain is often worse after the procedure.

Why our Treatment?

Believe it or not, many times the issue is not a shoulder problem. It is a skull issue! Yes I said skull misalignment. Dr. Franson Murphuy discovered a Technique called OTZ. This stands for One to Zero. It is based on the positioning of the skull relative to the first bone in the neck called atlas. Through 1000’s of cases he made the connection between a cranial nerve and the shoulder problem.

After a full examination and x rays. It will be determined if you are an OTZ candidate. About 75% of candidates qualify as an OTZ patient.

An upper skull adjustment is given and very often large amounts of range of motion are regained instantly.   Further treatments involve physical therapy and readjusting the upper skull and upper mid back to allow proper fluidity.

Dr. Joseph Clarino has been certified in Dr. Murphy’s OTZ technique and has trained with him several times. Dr. Clarino success with frozen shoulder is nothing short of magical.

To make an appointment and see if you qualify for this technique please call…..

To learn more about managing shoulder pain, contact Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness today or call us at 678-482-4400.