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Paraffin Baths for Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that involves moderate to heavy inflammation of the joints. It typically occurs in the arms and legs, but any joint is susceptible. This inflammation is usually painful and uncomfortable. It leads to decreased mobility and can keep people from enjoying life or simply doing daily chores. The American Society of Surgery of the Hands recommend paraffin or wax baths as a means of easing the pain and inflammation brought on by arthritis.

Purchasing a paraffin bath

Most well-stocked drugstores carry a large selection of both paraffin baths and wax. This equipment is not expensive, but a crockpot can also work as an alternative. Know, however, that once the wax is melted in the crockpot, it may become difficult to fully remove. As such, this is not a temporary solution. Also, a dedicated paraffin bath has the benefit of heating the wax up to a set temperature. When using a crockpot to heat up the wax, it is important to constantly measure the temperature with a thermometer.

The procedure

Place the wax into the paraffin bath or crockpot, and heat it slowly to 125 degrees, as suggested by Arthritis Insight. Once the wax is melted to a proper temperature, it may prove helpful to add some mineral oil to the mix. The oil thins out the wax and makes the treatment and the relief last a little while longer. If oil is added, more dips are required. Dip the affected area into the wax, and pull it out. Let the wax harden, and repeat until a desired thickness of layers is reached. After approximately 20 minutes, peel off the wax.

Arthritis is an incredibly painful condition, and paraffin baths can help soothe it and make it more bearable. These treatments are shown to make living with arthritis more manageable.