Healing after suffering an injury is a long and sometimes painful process. While there are numerous restorative practices to speed up the healing process, including massage and physical therapy, there is one remedy you can practice at home to treat your back pain. Have you heard of heat and cold therapy? Heat and ice therapy can provide quick and effective relief from back pain. But is heat or ice better for back pain? How and when do you use heat and ice therapy? Well, read on to find out…
Managing Back Pain with Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat and ice therapy offer a better way to manage back pain from the comfort of your own home. Unlike other pain management options, heat and ice therapy do not have any side effects like over the counter drugs sometimes do. This therapy also ensures the healing process is fast by lowering inflammation in fresh injuries and improving the range of motion for older injuries.
Many people do not know when to use heat or ice to treat back pain.
When to Use Ice for Back Pain
Ice therapy is effective during the first 24 to 72 hours after suffering an injury. Ice therapy minimises inflammation and swelling. This is what eases your back pain. In addition, ice therapy also decreases tissue damage, which speeds up healing.
When applying ice therapy, you should use the best gel ice pack. While some people use a frozen towel or a bag of frozen vegetables, a gel ice pack is more effective. Once you get your ice pack, apply it for no more than 20 minutes at a time. However, note that you can safely use ice therapy up to 10 times in 24 hours.
When to Use Heat Therapy
Once the inflammation and swelling is gone, switch from ice to heat. Heat therapy stimulates blood flow to affected areas and helps in the healing process. Heat also decreases stiffness and blocks pain signals from travelling to the brain.
When using heat therapy, you can either use dry heat or moist heat. Dry heat therapy is easier to apply, but can make your skin feel dehydrated. On the other hand, moist heat works better by penetrating your muscles, easing your pain. NOTE, if you have diabetes, open wounds, or dermatitis, you should not use heat therapy.
Heat vs Ice Therapy
The decision to use heat or ice therapy to treat your back pain depends on when the injury happened. However, getting better relief is all about finding a balance. Know when to use ice and when to switch to heat therapy. Most importantly, ensure you are using the best ice pack for back pain.
Buying Therapy Wraps
If you are looking for quality ice gel pack or therapy wraps, visit THERASTAR. They have quality and affordable therapy wraps that are universal for people of all sizes. Whether you need a knee brace, non-slip thigh brace, or hot and ice therapy wraps, they have all of these available. Check them out today!