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How To Do Hot And Cold Therapy For Back Pain

Injuries Or Conditions That Benefit From Hot Therapy

Try Hot and Cold Therapy Daily to Eliminate Bone and Joint Pain

Some injuries or conditions that can benefit from the use of hot therapy include:

  • Sore muscles: If youre been shoveling snow or putting up holiday decorations you may be feeling some tight, sore muscles in your shoulders or legs. This is the perfect opportunity to apply hot therapy. Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad to apply the heat directly to the area that is feeling the discomfort.
  • Menstrual cramps: Every woman knows that heat around the midsection during their period can help reduce cramping. Even a warm cat on your lap can feel comforting during this time of the month. Curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and get plenty of sleep to reduce the effects of menstrual cramps. Dont use an electric heating pad while youre sleeping.
  • Aches from the flu: If you still have a fever, hot therapy may not be the right choice but otherwise go ahead and add heat to your recovery regimen. This is a case when you may want to apply heat to your entire body. A hot bath, maybe scented with soothing oils or herbs, can help you relax and make it easier to get some much-needed sleep.
  • Comfort from the cold: There is absolutely nothing preventing you from using hot therapy as a respite from the cold weather. Staying indoors with a cup of hot tea can bring comfort on a cold winters night. Take a hot shower to get the blood flowing before wrapping yourself up in warm, fleecy pajamas.

What Is Heat Useful For

Heat is useful for relieving:

  • tendonitis, or chronic irritation and stiffness in the tendons
  • warming up stiff muscles or tissue before activity
  • relieving pain or spasms relating to neck or back injury, including the lower back

Applied to the neck, heat may reduce the spasms that lead to headaches.

In 2006, a team of researchers found that patients with lower back pain who exercised and use continuous low-level heat wrap therapy experienced less pain than those who did not use CLHT.

Previous studies had shown that, for some people, CLHT relieved pain more effectively than oral analgesics, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.

However, the effectiveness of heat treatment may depend on the depth of the tissue affected by the pain or injury.

Some people use heat treatment, often in the form of a hot bath, to stave off DOMS.

There is some evidence that this might help, but heat that is applied for only 5 to 20 minutes may be less effective, as does not have the chance impact the deeper levels of tissue.

Some researchers have that moist chemical heat packs, which can be used for 2 hours, may be the best way to prevent DOMS through heat treatment.

The Lower Back Pain A Widespread Issue That Affects Millions Of People Each Year

Back pain that is lower in the back can be an atypical problem that affects millions of people every year. Although lower back pain can be result of a range of causes, including disc rupture or muscle strain The most frequent cause is bad posture. Our modern lives are sedentary, and many of us spend hours looking at phones or computers which put a lot of strain on the lower back. However, there are a number of lower back pain treatments that can assist in relieving the discomfort and improve your posture. Some of the most effective tips are wearing comfortable , well-padded shoes that offer good support and a comfortable mattress, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing. If youre experiencing lower back pain, talk to your doctor regarding the best options for treating you.

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Should I Use Heat Or Ice For Acute Injuries

If the new injury is red, swollen, or inflamed, then cooling the injury may help prevent inflammation. For example, if your pain stems from a muscle injury, treat it immediately with RICE — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest the injured body part and then apply ice. You can use an ice pack or a pack of frozen vegetables or fruit for 20 minutes. Then take it off for 20 minutes. Add compression with a firm elastic bandage. Elevate the injured part to keep swelling to a minimum.

Before using moist heat or ice therapy, be sure your skin is dry and free from cuts and sores. If you have visible skin damage, don’t use cold or heat. And always protect your skin with a towel. After using heat or cold, gently move the arthritic joint to reduce stiffness.

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How To Use Heat And Cold Therapy To Treat Pain

Flexible Hot& Cold Therapy Gel Ice Pack Wrap

05 January 2016

Healing after an injury can be a long and painful process. And while there are many restorative practices you can do to speed along the process including physical therapy, massage, and other natural healing modalities, theres also something quite simple you can do yourself at home to treat your pain. Its head and cold therapy.

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Why The Ice Barrel

The strategy of cold hydrotherapy may be very important for health however it might not be that easy to perform an ice bath. If you want to include it in your regular regimen, going outdoors every day to a beach or a place where you can swim in the cold water may not be that convenient, even discouraging. To cover what could possibly be quite a range every day to access a location where you can take a dip the hassle may not even appear worth it. Also, it may not be possible in the first place if you are residing in a location where you do not have access to the sort of outdoors where taking an ice bath would be possible. What do you do? Try to do it in the house? You might likely get a big tub, leading it up with ice and sit in it for a long time. Getting just enough ice to fill that tub every day or every time you desire to take a bath does not feel like a really hassle-free approach. Not just would it be troublesome to fill it up every day but getting the temperature level right every time, not to mention the cost of getting ice whenever you require to fill that tub the ice bath concept unexpectedly does not appear extremely appealing now, does it? This is where the Ice Barrel is available in. With the help of this item, you can experience an ice bath with no inconvenience and that too within the boundaries of your inside your home or an quickly available location.

Ice Massage For Sciatica

An ice massage is the application of ice directly on the affected area in a circular motion. Ice massages help relieve pain over a wider region. A hand-held ice unit can be made by freezing water in a paper cup and cutting the top half of the cup to expose the ice .

In the rear pelvic area, ice massage may be done directly on the skin for 3 to 6 minutes . An ice massage creates a cold feeling followed by a slight burning or tingling sensation, and finally, numbness occurs. Once numbness is felt, icing must be stopped to avoid frostbite. When the numbness wears off, the procedure can be repeated. This treatment can be done 2 or 3 times a day.

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Avoid Prolonged Static Posture

It is important to pay attention to the joints and muscles of your spine and hip. Prevent fatigue and stresses on these joints by following simple tips, such as:

  • Avoid excessive sitting or consider using a standing desk while you work. When you sit for a long duration, the pressure on your spinal discs increase. Aim to get up every hour and walk a short distance to take the load off your discs.

When you have a flare-up of symptoms, consider less exertive activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, or crafting. These activities can help divert your mind from the pain and let your back rest at the same time.

How To Apply Heat

Spinal Decompression Brace with Hot & Cold Therapy for Back Pain Treatment by BraceAbility

Like cold therapy, heat therapy is a versatile treatment that lends itself to several options.

  • An electric heating pad: Heating pads plug into the wall and provide a consistent heat source to help ease your back pain. Many heating pads allow you to control the temperature and set a timer, ensuring you do not leave the heat on your back for too long.
  • A hot water bottle: Hot water bottles can provide heat. Remember to wrap a light washcloth around the surface if it is too hot to touch with your bare hands.
  • A bath: A hot bath can help to ease your back pain and any other muscle soreness you may be experiencing.
  • Adhesive heat wraps: Wear over-the-counter adhesive heat wraps underneath your clothing for a safe, low-level amount of heat lasting several hours.

If you use heat for lower back pain, it is vital to protect your skin. Make sure whatever heat source you use is warm rather than hot, and do not leave it on your body for too long.

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How To Use Ice And Heat Therapy For Lower Back Pain

Using heat or ice therapy is often used as a preliminary treatment for back pain. By regularly adding heat or ice to the affected area, pain can often be relieved temporarily, and in some cases, for good. The best part of using ice or heat for back pain is that you can often do it with items already in your home. Read on to see why back pain occurs and how these tips can help you use ice or heat for your back pain relief.

Heat Vs Cold For Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, the decision between when you use heat vs. when to use cold isnt quite as clear cut. For most people, obtaining effective relief requires finding a balance between using both heat and cold. If you do exercises to strengthen your back, you may find that applying heat first helps warm up your muscles and get through your workout with ease. Cold works to ease inflammation and pain following a workout.

Chronic lower back pain should be assessed by a medical professional. If you suffer from lower back pain, your Denver physical therapist can help you determine the best course of treatment. To learn more, contact Denver Physical Medicine today.

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Treating Pain With Heat And Cold

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We treat everything from arthritis to pulled muscles to inflammation with ice packs or heating pads. Treating pain with hot and cold can be extremely effective for a number of different conditions and injuries, and easily affordable. The tricky part is knowing what situations calls for hot, and which calls for cold. Sometimes a single treatment will even include both.

As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.

Heat Therapy Stimulates Blood Flow

Sciatica Pain Relief Back Brace for Pinched Nerves

Unlike cold therapy, heat therapy speeds up the blood flow and can be a gentle suggestion to your body to begin the healing process. You might find that heat therapy helps sooth sore muscles and relax muscle spasms especially with an older injury.

Using heat therapy reduces the pain by not only relaxing your muscles, but also by increasing the flow of lactic acid. This fluid often slows down in areas with decreased blood flow, but its removal is necessary for improving range of motion and decreasing pain. Paired with hydration, heat therapy can help you heal from pain from an ongoing injury or to relax sore muscles and stiffness from the body.

If the injury causing pain is severe, be sure to talk to your orthopaedic specialist to ensure that a more active approach to your pain management isnt necessary.

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Cold Therapy Reduces Inflammation

Using ice on a fresh injury is not a new idea. In fact if youve ever fallen hard as a child, an adult likely immediately gave you an ice pack. This is to reduce the inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness associated with the injury. These are natural reactions to your body experiencing pain, however in excess these processes compress local tissue and cause more pain.

Using cold therapy not only reduces the pain by numbing the injury, but it also slows the blood vessel and reduces the fluid buildup at the site of the injury. By controlling the swelling, you will not only find that the injury is numbed, but you might find that it can help your injury heal a bit faster.

Cold therapy can be used to relieve the pain of an injury or to help speed the recovery of a rigorous exercise such as after a long run, swim, hike, or even sports play.

What Temperature Is Best When Using Heat Therapy For Arthritis

When using moist heat therapy, make sure the temperature is not so hot that you burn your skin. Find a temperature that you can comfortably tolerate, whether using a bath, hot water bottle, or spa therapy.

You also need to give it time to work. Use the moist heat application for at least 15 minutes before exercise. Then use it again immediately following exercise. You can also use moist heat anytime you want additional relief from arthritis pain.

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Hot And Cold Therapy: A Starting Guide

Even those of us who live in desert climates are not immune from the chill of winter weather. It can permeate your bones and drive you indoors for several months straight. It is completely normal to seek warmth as the days get shorter.

Hot and cold therapy has been a mainstay for treating minor sports injuries. The idea is that applying cold, or ice, to an injury immediately after it occurs can reduce swelling and inflammation. Then, once the initial healing has begun, heat can be applied to soothe soreness and restore a better range of motion.

In the winter months hot therapy can seem like more than just a helpful tip for sore and aching muscles. Who doesnt want to curl up with a hot water bottle when the temperatures dip below freezing? However, there are some things to keep in mind when using hot therapy in cold weather.

To avoid unnecessary complications from the incorrect use of hot and cold therapy, here are a few things you should consider.

When To Use Ice For Lower Back Pain

Hot And Cold Therapy

In most instances, you should use ice on your back for the first 24 to 72 hours following an injury. Cold therapy helps minimize swelling and inflammation. This, in turn, eases your pain. Cold therapy may also decrease tissue damage.

Whether you use an ice pack, a frozen towel or even a bag of frozen vegetables, place a cloth between your skin and the source of cold to prevent ice burn. Cold therapy should be applied for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but it can safely be applied up to 10 times in a 24-hour period.

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Types Of Lower Back Issues

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. While some are more susceptible to it than others, nearly seven out of ten people¹ experience back pain at some time during their life.

The pain can make it difficult or even impossible to walk, sleep, work, or perform essential activities.

What is better for lower back pain when it comes to at-home treatmentheat or cold therapy?

Both, actually. Heat and cold therapy are beneficial and can effectively relieve different types of lower back pain. These treatments are often overlooked despite being simple, cost-effective, and practical.

Various lower back pain conditions can be treated with heat or cold therapy, including the following.


Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints.

One of the most common types of arthritis that affects the lower back is osteoarthritis. It causes inflammation and stiffness in the affected area. Eventually, this could lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.


Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that can cause lower back and sometimes leg pain.

This condition occurs when vertebrae in your spine slip out of place. The spinal cord and nerve roots can become pinched when this happens, causing pain.

Structural issues

Another condition is spinal stenosis, which occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows and pinches the nerves.

Strains and sprains



What Is The Ice Barrel

You may be wondering, exactly what Ice Barrel is and how it works Let us tell you. The Ice Barrel as the name discusses is like a large sized barrel developed for individuals to sit upright in it. As for the dimensions, it is as high as 4 feet and can hold 80 gallons of water at a time. This may help individuals of varying sizes to fully immerse in the water when they being in it. The barrel comes with a cover to cover the top so regarding avoid any insect and so on from going in. You get a stepping stool that you can use to get in and get out with ease. The package includes a stand on which you position the barrel so that it does not sit straight on the ground. Moreover, if for some place you need to keep the barrel outside, you get a UV cover that shields it from the sun. At the lower side of the barrel, there is a valve that can be utilized to drain pipes the water as soon as you are finished with the bath and wish to clear the barrel. How To Do Hot And Cold Therapy For Back Pain

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Use Cold First And Then Apply Heat For Acute Back Pain

When your back pain is acute and/or occurs due to a direct injury, use cold therapy first.2 Lowering the body temperature will help constrict the blood vessels, reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, and cause a numbing effect.1,3

See Ice Packs for Back Pain Relief

Once the inflammation has subsided, use heat therapy. When you apply heat, it improves the flexibility of soft tissues, movement of muscles, and overall functioning of the back. The local warmth stimulates blood circulation in your lower back, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the injured tissues.

It is also advised to continue using heat therapy intermittently for several hours or days in order to improve tissue healing and prevent recurrence of pain.2

Why Alternating Hot And Cold Therapy Is Good For Injuries

Top 5 Lower Back Pain Relief Products

Both heat and ice have their uses in treating injury. In order to understand the benefits of contrast therapy, its useful to know exactly when and why heat and ice work for pain reliefand when they dont.

When alternating between hot and cold therapy, a hot-and-cold therapy pack is a useful tool to have on hand. Freeze it for cold therapy or warm it in the microwave for heat.

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How Long Do You Alternate Heat And Ice

It depends on the intensity of the pain. We can opt for ice therapy in the initial phases for 72 hours or up to 4 days. After that, the patient can safely switch to heat therapy that would help increase the circulation to the targeted or damaged area.

For ice packs, never put them longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. For continuous switching, use the heating pack for a maximum of 20 minutes, followed by the ice packs for 15 minutes.

Is Massage Good For Tendonitis

Sports massage, which combines more gentle Chinese techniques with deep-tissue work, can also be effective for tendonitis inflammation and pain. The technique enhances circulation and uses friction to break up scar tissue, which can also reduce swelling. … Your body has to heal from the massage as well as the injury. But it may take 4-6 weeks therapy. You also have to schedule time to go to massage therapist and may copay $35-$45 each session, but if you massage the swelling or painful tendon with HealthmateForever to reduce swelling and fast pain relief just for a couple of days of self treatment at home or in the office or during travel. With HealthmateForever, just a frication of cost, you can enjoy unlimited soothing massage anywhere anytime.

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