Your Concierge Doctor Invites You to Learn about Pain Relief Using Hot and Cold

October 10, 2017

Louise Connolly MD is board certified in Integrative Medicine and in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is  in private practice in Redondo Beach. Visit her website for more information. You can contact her at 310-372-4706.

She has written many articles on various aspects of pain and she has allowed me to share them with you. Here is another one for you.

Pain Relief     Some like it Hot

By Louise Connolly MD

No this is not a post about peas porridge. And no, it’s not about Marilyn Monroe’s wonderful movie.  It’s about three very basic concepts in pain relief taken from age old and simple to modern and complex. 

Are you in pain? Then get it hot. Ahh, the heating pad to your sore back. You know it feels good. But you can go a little further. Instead of your mom’s old plug in heating pad, you can try a homemade solution (, or go to the pharmacy for a wearable thermacare. ( Want a fancy heating pad that can’t burn you? Try BattleCreek Custom Touch. The thermophore automatic version is awesome.  It delivers moist heat, and has a hand held programmable control.

Now, heat and water are an excellent combination, from mineral hot springs, to jacuzzi’s to Bikram Yoga to Infrared Saunas. Try the infared at the gym, you just don’t feel stuffy and light headed afterwards. Or buy a portable single person infared sauna for your home.  There are many small single person portable units you can buy on Amazon, set up easily, and break down to take with you on a business trip to ease that muscle tension.

Infared? Now let’s move on to infrared “hot” lasers. They work with light energy and heat, another good combination.  Have you tried them?  Maybe your physical therapist or chiropractor used them on you. Want to try a professional high powered one? Try someone like  Dr Harold Kraft in Manhattan Beach. (   He has expensive powerful Class 4 lasers, the type you need experience to use properly.  Infrared “hot” lasers give deeper tissue penetration than cold ones, for more deep seated pain. But power output, wavelength, pulse frequencies all come into play. For those who wish an affordable home device try the Tendlite World’s Top Red LED Light Therapy Joint Pain Relief.  It’s FDA approved.

How does heat actually work to relieve pain? There are multiple ways. Look into heat shock proteins for one.  Then the Class 3 and 4 lasers actually energize mitochondria. But let’s think in more simplistic terms. Does a warm bath make you feel good and relaxed?  Does a  heating pad help menstrual pain?

Heat, it does a body good.

Some Like it Cold

You know about this. You sprain something, you ice it. But please use something more sturdy than a plastic bag or it will leak all over you. Cold and chronic pain and stiffness?   Please try this simple experiment.  When you are about to finish your morning shower, turn it on really hot for a minute or two (release your heat shock proteins), then quickly turn it to completely cold.  See if you can stay in there for 60 seconds.  I know…. Yikes!  But now you’ve released your cold shock proteins.  See how your day goes. Is there more spring in your step?

Let’s take it a step further. Ever go on a ski trip? Do you remember those crazy people who, when the day was over, sat in the jacuzzi drinks in hand and then jumped out into the snow in their skivvies? It’s the same thing. What about those iron men who submerge themselves in an ice bath for an hour, lowering their core body temperature.  Are you getting an idea why anyone would do that?

Or try Cryowave. What’s that?  It’s Whole Body Cryotherapy. Our local one is at 2001 N Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach.(  Bring your swimsuit, experience a three minute “cold in the box” treatment, and go about your business pain free. Negative 240 degrees Fahrenheit. No shivering allowed. That’s three minutes at less than 200 degrees F!

Now it’s pricey.  One treatment is $45.00.  But if it works and you live close, buy a monthly unlimited use package and hit it twice a day. This time of year there are usually good discount packages. Cold therapy in winter doesn’t sell well.

Want an in depth description? Read Rhonda Patrick’s Blog She’ll tell you all about it.

So what’s next, in the pot? Nope. ( Who would ever eat peas porridge anyway? Yuck!)  Your third fundamental treatment for pain is…..


Whether You like it or not!

Get those kinks out.

Ever notice how your pain and stiffness is worse in the morning when you first get up? Or think how you feel after sitting for too long.  Not good.  Yes, stretching can get the kinks out.  And even gentle walking lifts your spirits.

So, let’s pretend you’ve just had an operation and all you want to do is lie in bed and hit that pain button. But no! What do those mean doctors and nurses want you to do? Get out of bed! Move it! Down the hall, huff puff dragging your IV pole with you.  Why?   Because you heal faster.

Movement, from stretching, walking, running. If you can’t do yourself, then you need the good old “laying on of hands”. Healing touch, massage, therapeutic manipulation.

Movement releases endorphins.  Endorphins counteract pain. Movement promotes healing.

Do you want it fancy? OK, a laser, a confluent focused light, uses movement is in the wavelength. Ultrasound, the sound frequency creates movement. Electromechanical energy, so popular with the physical therapists, uses those electrodes to make your muscles jump. Basic mechanical movement, like the Rikian exercise table, uses a specific rotational motion stimulation to muscles. Yes, there’s so many devices at your disposal.

All based on movement through the laying on of hands.

For questions on this article please contact Dr. Connolly at 310-372-4706 or visit her website

As your concierge physician I welcome your comment, suggestions and questions.