It is really not that easy choosing between heat or ice for back pain. These two are the least expensive, simplest and most effective methods for relieving back pain or even any kind of pain you have whether it is muscle pain, knee injuries, headache or whatever it is. Sometimes you may need both of the treatment combined to ease your pain.
As a simple rule, ice treatment is better for acute injuries along with swelling and inflammation whereas, heat works better for stiffness and muscle pain.
Experimenting with heat and cold therapy one after another is the best way for the most person and might provide the best pain relief if you use it on a constant basis.
By increasing temperature and improving circulation of blood flow to a particular area you can easily relief your back pain. It will soothe discomfort and increase muscle flexibility to the affected area and provide you relax which generally heal damaged tissue.
Types of heat therapy
In general, there are two different kinds of heat therapy, one is dry heat and another one is moist heat therapy. You can easily take the dry heat by using the best heating pad which is available on the market. Heat wraps for small body parts or even using warm paraffin wax treatment works well for your body as well.
On the other hand, for getting the moist heat you can use steamed towels, moist heating pad and gel pack which will give you a softheat experience and gets you relief from any kind of body pain.
Best way of getting heat therapy/treatments
- Firstly, Most recommended therapy is using a heating pad. You can buy the best heating pad from any marketplace or online and use it for 20-25 minutes at a time. Do not repeat it more than 3-4 times a day, otherwise, you might end up with some unavoidable and un circumstances adverse body effect. It is better to use any good brand’s heat pad with different levels of heat settings which ensure the best heating warm according to your need.
- You can take a warm shower or hot water bathtub therapy which will remove your pain up to a certain level. It is a good idea for short time of heat treatment.
- You can use a towel for temporary heat therapy. You need to wet it a little and warm it up on microwave which might take 3-5 minutes in general. In the case of using a towel, we always recommend using a thin layer of clothes for preventing burning of your body parts. Towels may not good for long time heating and you can not change its temperature instantly which you might require during your therapy session.
N: B: In the case of using an electric heating pad, do not fall asleep with the pad is on. High heat on your body might burn your skin and can cause adverse side effects.
In the case of cold therapy, the blood flow is reduced and it (cold) constricts blood vessels in a particular area and reduce swelling and inflammation which generally causes pain.
It actually decreases nerve activity temporarily which gives a relief from it. This cold therapy is very effective for sprained ankle and neck muscle pain for most people (some people claim that heat therapy works better for them rather than cold therapy).
Types of cold therapy and best way of getting cold therapy/treatments
- You can use different methods of cold therapy if you want. Most common and popular method is wrapping ice in a bag and apply it on the skin in your particular painful areas. But remember, do not use this therapy for more than 20-25 minutes at a time which might cause various skin problem and might adverse effect of blood flow on your body.
- You can buy cold gel pack from any store or online and it will stay cold for a long period of time if you can choose the best one among them. For daily using, this therapy is far better than applying ice on a constant basis.
- If you want to get rid of pain for short period of time, cool sprays is another good way to get you relief from that.
- If you have acute injury or pain less than 3 days, you should use cold therapy for making it decrease. On the other hand, if your pain is chronic or passes more than 3 days then heat therapy is the best option for you. Actually, it sometimes depends on the person, you should check it out yourself which gives you more comfort and pleasure.
In case if your pain is not improving, try to consult with a doctor as soon as possible before making it more worse and follow the treatment according to his/her medication.more worse and follow the treatment according to his/her medication.more worse and follow the treatment according to his/her medication.
It’s really tough to say which method would be best for you without making any inspection at the first place. And you should know your body preferences most of the time rather than us in this ice and heat therapy scenario.
My strong recommendation not to use ice directly on your skin, rather you can use best ice packs instead and in the case of heat therapy, choose the right and best heating pad for doing that job. If you follow it accordingly to my advice, you will get relief from your pain shortly, no doubt at all.