Heat & Ice Therapy, Does It Work?
Are you suffering from back pain and are not sure if heat or ice therapy is right for you? Find out more about what you need to know when deciding whether to apply a heat or ice.
Generally speaking, cold helps to minimize inflammation and reduce sharp pain. This means that ice is best for fresh injuries. Applying a cold pad to an injury can help reduce swelling. It actually causes blood vessel to constrict. Keep in mind, you should only use cold pads within the first 48 hours after the injury occurred.
Heat usually helps to relax stiff joints, muscles and blood vessels. For chronic pain, including back pain, you will want to relax your muscles and get more blood flow to the impacted area. A heat pad will help to open up blood vessels which will aid with the healing process. Some studies suggest that low-level, long-term heat applied directly on the skin can significantly reduce stiffness and tension and increase flexibility. Positive effects can, in some cases, last for 48 hours or longer.
If your pain persists contact a specialists since your pain could be a sign of a more serious condition.