gel ice pack mystery

sarah1942
sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
edited 29. Jun 2013, 04:50 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, can someone please explain what might be happening here? I have chronic lower back pain through sciatica, osteoarthritis and spondylolythesis (not sure if that's how you spell it). My gp told me that my really bad groin pain could also be as a result of my lower back problems. Yesterday I had pain in only my fingers - no back pain/groin at all. This morning however back it all came, together with front of thigh pain, and really sickly groin pain. I sat with a hot water bottle against my back, got up after 20 minutes but the pain was just as bad. Then I placed a wrapped gel ice pack from my freezer there and after sitting for another 20 minutes or so I was gobsmacked to stand up and walk with no pain anywhere!! I just know this was a result of the icing but why? My daughter thinks it's very weird. So do I. I just hope it's not the calm before the storm.......

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Pain comes and goes (but never goes for as long as it comes). Ice is a good treatment for inflammation and pain but the pain will come back, 'tis the nature of the beast. I've never found heat of benefit (apart from when my right hip went with OA back in January, I even took my hottie to hospital when visiting my husband after his appendix op). I used to ice my hot, swollen knees but now I don't need to thanks to the meds. This isn't weird, Sarah, it's par for the course. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • sarah1942
    sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you, yes I'm aware it will come back -- I have been in pain for so long now I just couldn't believe it had just gone like that! Will try ther hot/cold thing certainly.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Del wrote:
    It could be the switching from hot to cold.
    I was advised by my physio that dipping my hands into hot then cold water will bring down the inflammation.
    Might be worth experimenting and see if you get the same result.

    I agree. Like Del a tip from a physio. Ice cold water for 5 mins or as long as you can bear up to 5 mins and then warm water - alternating. Works wonders, for inflammation of fingers and hands, anyway.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • sarah1942
    sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ohh thank you so much for that info -- I haven't any visible swelling of my fingers or wrist but they hurt so much when I go to turn taps on and off or try to unscrew lids. Maybe we don't all get visible inflammation??
  • chookgate
    chookgate Member Posts: 146
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was once told by a chiropractor that for pain caused by muscle strain/spasm etc heat is good because it relaxes the muscles, but that for pain caused by inflammation heat can actually make it worse because it increases the temperature of something that is already hot.

    So ice packs make sense to reduce the temperature and therefore the inflammation. The trick is knowing which is going to help! And obviously sometimes a combination (as others have stated) will help best as the heat first relaxes the muscles, then the ice reduces the inflammation.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    sarah1942 wrote:
    Ohh thank you so much for that info -- I haven't any visible swelling of my fingers or wrist but they hurt so much when I go to turn taps on and off or try to unscrew lids. Maybe we don't all get visible inflammation??

    There are all sorts of gadgets for help with unscrewing lids. I have an electric one which does the entire job. I bought it from L*k*l*nd.

    As for taps, all ours are now lever taps. I believe there are gadgets for most other kinds. Try any disability shop including online ones.

    I've always understood (possibly wrongly :roll: ) that alternating between heat and cold encouraged better circulation and that, in itself, might help with pain.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • sarah1942
    sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    can you actually have "inflammation" without noticeable swelling though?
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sarah1942;

    Yes, you can have inflammation with very subtle or no signs of swelling. Carpal tunnel syndrome is good example. The swelling is inside the "tunnel" a nerve travels through in the wrist, and the compression on the nerve causes the pain and other symptoms. Not visible on the outside of the wrist but inflammatory nonetheless. I believe sciatica is a similar case in the spine. Inflammation pressing on a nerve causes the pain.

    I have seronegative inflammatory arthritis. My old GP couldn't detect signs of joint swelling (nor could I) but my rheumatologist can. inflammatory condition but no really obvious swelling.

    Hope that helps,

    Anna
  • sarah1942
    sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Anna x
  • lizzieuk1
    lizzieuk1 Member Posts: 302
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sarah, some good advice/comments already, to add have you been xrayed for hip oa? Groin pain is a classic sign if it. Some physio could be helpful if you've not already had some as ur lower back can easily cause disruption to the pelvic mechanics and hence the hip joint.
  • sarah1942
    sarah1942 Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No I haven't had an xray of my hips. My gp told me groin pain could quite easily come from a lower back condition like mine and I accepted that. Anyway as soon as I put ice packs on my lower back the back/groin pain disappears, albeit temporarily, but at least it's better than taking those awful tablets that space you out for 24 hours at a time ugh!!