How to Use a Paraffin Bath to Decrease Stiffness and Arthritis Pain in the Feet and Hands


Paraffin can help patients suffering from arthritis by decreasing stiffness and allowing joints to experience more mobility. Arthritis causes a lot of pain in the joints, and paraffin can help release that pain. Physical therapists frequently recommend paraffin treatment for chronic arthritis sufferers. Paraffin allows heat to distribute equally in the joints, making them less stiff and painful. For a paraffin treatment you will need medical grade paraffin, mineral oil, a candy thermometer, a plastic bag and a towel.

1. You can get paraffin in a medical grade from most medical supply stores. Choose from among the many different types of paraffin on the market, but ensure you purchase one suitable for therapy.

2. Use a crock pot to melt the paraffin. Put three pounds of medical grade paraffin in the pot and heat it until it melts. Add one-half cup of mineral oil and stir the mixture.

3. With a candy thermometer, determine the mixture’s temperature. If it measures higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit, let it cool for a while. Don’t use the melted wax on your body if it measures higher in temperature than 125 degrees.

How to Use a Paraffin Bath to Decrease Stiffness and Arthritis Pain in the Feet and Hands paraffin bath arthritis

4. Put your hand in the paraffin with your fingers separate and take it out after a few seconds. Avoid touching the sides or bottom of the pot while dipping, as they are very hot and you might sustain burns. Keep your hand out for as many seconds as it takes the paraffin to dry, and then dip your hand again in the mixture. Take it out again and repeat the action 10 times more. You can do the same with your foot, making sure you keep your toes separate when you dip the foot into the paraffin. Don’t move your hand or foot around too much after you start dipping it into the paraffin.

5. After your last dip, allow air to dry to paraffin for a minute or two. Wrap your hand or foot in a plastic bag to help retain the heat. Also place a towel over the plastic bag.

6. Lay back and relax for a while. Hold your hand or foot in a comfortable position. Elevate your hand or foot slightly, placing it on a pillow, for example, to avoid swelling. Maintain your position for 20 minutes.

7. Gently take off the towel, plastic bag and paraffin from your hand or foot. The paraffin should not prove difficult to remove since it should peel right off your skin.

8. Engage in a series of movements to reduce stiffness from your joints. Elevate your joints, flex your wrist or ankle, and keep moving them around for a while. You should include some mild physical exercises not only after your paraffin treatment but also in your daily routine. Though movement might seem difficult and painful, arthritis patients must keep exercising in order to keep the joints flexible.

9. If you have sores or cuts on your skin, allow them to heal before taking on the paraffin treatment.

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  4. How to Recognize the Signs of Arthritis
  5. How to Help Foot Arthritis

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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