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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Back Pain Tip: Should You Treat Your Back Pain With Heat or Ice?

Posted by Illinois Back Institute on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 05:12 PM

When a person experiences back pain of some sort, often times one of the best ways of treating it is to apply heat or ice to the injured area. Many times it is the first treatment that people try, because it can be very effective, and it is very easy for anyone to do at home. However, it is also one of the most misunderstood therapies in back pain treatment, because many people do not know when it is best to use a heating pad instead of an ice pack, and vice versa.

Read below to learn which is best for the kind of pain you are feeling:

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fire.jpgUse heat for persistent or chronic pain. Chronic back pain is when pain doesn't go away but doesn't get worse, and it can remain from weeks, months, or even years. When suffering from chronic back pain, make sure to use heat to ease the pain. Heat treatment helps relax and loosen tissues and stimulate the blood flow to the area of pain. Use heat on conditions like overuse injuries, before participating in activities. Apply the heat in 15 minute intervals, with at least an hour and a half between treatments. Also, do not apply the heat directly to the skin; make sure to wrap a towel or some other protective layer around the heating pad before use.

ice.jpgUse ice/cold treatment when there is immediate pain. Acute back pain is very common and begins suddenly. It is defined as pain lasting less than 3 to 6 months, or pain that is directly related to tissue damage. If you feel acute pain after an activity like jogging, golf, or throwing a baseball, make sure to use ice! It can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries. Similar to heat, apply ice to the injured area in 15-20 minute intervals, and with an hour and a half between treatments.

This video will help to further explain when to use hot or cold for your back pain:


At The Illinois Back Institute we are dedicated to educating people, because we know that the more that you understand about your problem, the more likely you are to eliminate it. We specialize in Functional Disc Stabilization - a multi-disciplinary approach to making the back healthier without surgery, injections or medications.

If you would like to schedule a Free Consultation, you can call us at 855-403-5715, or click here:

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