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
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
Bath Logistics: Not Everyone Fits In A Tub
Im 54″ tall the size of a hobbit and slender, so I never have difficulty fitting into airline seats or baths, and its easy for me to forget that larger people often have to squeeeeze into spaces I find quite roomy. For anyone more than medium sized, this is another way that baths can fail to be awesome:
After a long day of roofing, a nice Epsom salt bath sounded great, as I always think a bath sounds great, in principle. In practice, I deal with legs that take up 98% of the tub, if I want to dunk my head under, those walking stalks need too be near the shower head. Leaving me with the choice of nipples or knees to soak in this relaxing environment. And of course, one must fold the shoulders so they may enter this hot soup of discomfiting comfort. Oh the pure bliss of soak therapy! Until they make a tub that can actually fit a lanky frame, or I can afford a hot tub, I am sticking to showers.
There is usually no affordable or practical solution to this problem! But its a good reminder that it depends, and youre not going to be able to get maximum value out of a bath if you have to pretzel yourself to get into it.
The one easy tip I have: at the least, get a bath cushion. Even a small cushion can make a surprisingly large difference in bath comfort.
Does A Spa Really Work Hear From Other Customers
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Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
How Does Epsom Salt Work
We dont really understand or know how Epsom salt works. Multiple hypotheses on the subject have been refuted. The main theory holds that easing of aches and pains is due to absorption of the magnesium that is released when Epsom salt is dissolved in water. But the science linking low magnesium levels to pain is sketchy. And even if we could absorb magnesium from bathing in it, a much more effective and easy way to up your magnesium levels is to get it through foods.
This might be a case where we have to trust 400 years of anecdotes to see that a simple inexpensive at-home intervention can improve our wellness and provides the therapeutic effect.
Perhaps it is the simple act of decompressing at night and having a wind-down regimen of putting electronics away, lighting a couple of candles and relaxing our minds without distraction.
Interestingly, the addition of the salt prevents the wrinkling of the skin that occurs after prolonged baths. And the skin definitely feels more silky and smooth after an Epsom salt bath.
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Epsom Salt Bath For Back Pain
This is one of the best ways to use Epsom salt for back pain, so much so that doctors recommend them to patients struggling with arthritis to relieve pain.
Heres how to do it :
Run a bath, it doesnt need to be too hot but it should be at least be warm. Make sure that its a comfortable temperature for you.
Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath water
Just sit back and relax for 12-30 minutes.
You can do this every day if you need to.
If you are pregnant, an Epsom salt bath for lower back pain is effective and safe as long as the bath water isnt hot, it should only be warm. It can also relieve any other cramping and relieve stress too.
Ice Your Back Immediately After Exercise To Reduce Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness and back pain can occur from extensive workouts, trying a new type of work out, or even from excessive walking. Soreness from these activities may start on the first day but typically continues to peak until the third day.4 This phenomenon is called delayed onset muscle soreness and can cause significant inflammation and pain in your back.
When you have back pain from exercise or exertion, use cold therapy immediately after the activity to reduce tissue damage, inflammation, and pain. After a 24-hour period, use heat therapy to encourage tissue healing.4
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Can Hot Baths Lower Back Pain
A hot bath can make you feel so much better. The warmth and buoyancy have relaxing and healing effects which are useful if you are suffering from injuries, pain, anxiety, and depression. Heating pads can have similar results however, they do not compare to a warm bath which surrounds your entire body. The warm water can increase the temperature of your muscles through deep heating. Basically, the warm water stimulates blood flow to stiff muscles and joints. The soothing warmth helps relax your muscles, reduce muscle spasms, and promotes tissue healing. A warm bath is also the ideal place to do some gentle stretching.
Simple Tip: To ease tension in your back pain, you could use a tennis ball. Place a tennis ball on the back of the tub and lean against it. Let the ball roll against your knotted muscles. If your tub has massage jets, use them!
Does Epsom Salt Help Back Pain
There is a lack of scientific evidence that Epsom salt itself actually helps, not necessarily because it doesnt help, but there havent really been studies done on Epsom salt bath effects, a lot of studies injected it straight into the muscle which caused adverse effects.
Many questioned whether Epsom salt is even really absorbed in the bath, but some studies have been shown that some of it does, in fact, get absorbed, like this study. The bath water in this study was hotter than is generally safe or well tolerated by most, but under normal conditions, some of the Epsom salt seems to be absorbed via our hair follicles .
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and not table salt which is sodium chloride. So be sure to look specifically for Epsom salt when purchasing it.
But how does Epsom salt help sore muscles and other back ailments that cause pain?
Magnesium is important for muscles to be able to relax .
A deficiency in magnesium has been linked to depression and anxiety. Stress is a major cause of back pain .
Magnesium helps to relieve pain.
Magnesium sulfate has been shown to reduce the need for pain medication after operations .
Magnesium sulfate helps to lower inflammation .
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What Is Better For Back Pain Cold Or Heat
That entirely depends upon the nature of your injury or the cause of your pain. Heat is better for tight muscles and muscle spasms, and cold is better for swelling and inflammation.
In some cases, both may be required, and youve probably seen advice to alternate heat and cold compresses. When that is the case, do not go directly from one to the other. If treating an injury, for example, its better to ice it for 10-20 minutes with a cold compress wrapped in a towel, so it doesnt touch bare skin. Then, rest for 20 minutes and follow that period with heat for 20 minutes.
It may be tempting to take a hot shower immediately after soaking in an ice bath, but you should resist it. This is because the recovery period after applying heat or cold is important. Instead, wrap yourself up in a warm bathrobe and rest for a bit before taking a hot shower, applying a warm compress, or taking a hot bath.
Benefits Of Hot Tub And Hydrotherapy For Back Pain Relief
Using hydrotherapy for back pain is a good treatment option because it helps relax sore muscles, soothes aches, and improves flexibility and range of motion.
Hot tub therapy for lower back pain can also target painful muscle knots. The whirlpool jets work on contracted muscles, gently breaking them down, while the warm water comforts your aches. A jetted bathtub with targeted jet placement can directly hit problem areas effectively.
Hydrotherapy benefits the healing process too. Since the heat boosts circulation, the injured area can get nutrients easier, allowing you to recover sooner.
Water therapies have been used since ancient times, but science is catching up on how it can improve back pain. The following are the top health benefits of hydrotherapy for back pain relief.
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How To Take An Epsom Salts Bath
The water should be very warm — not hot, but comfortable to the touch. Add the Epsom salts while the water is running to help them dissolve.
For a standard-sized tub, use the amount suggested on the package, usually 1 to 2 cups, or the amount recommended by your doctor. Don’t use Epsom salts in a hot tub, whirlpool, or other tub with jets unless the manufacturer says it’s OK.
Keep the part of your body that hurts in the water for at least 12 minutes. Just relax.
Check with your doctor about how long and how often you should soak. You may need to do it just once for an ingrown toenail, or every day if you have arthritis pain.
How To Use Epsom Salt For Back Pain Relief
The main method of using this mineral compound for back pain relief is to take an Epsom salt bath. Although some people use Epsom salts along with essential oils for a more relaxing experience and aromatherapy, following these basic guidelines for an Epsom salt bath can help back pain:
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Hydrotherapy For Back Pain: Lower Back Pain Relief At Home
Everyone is likely to experience back pain at some point in their liveswhether in the neck, shoulders, mid, or lower back. Unfortunately, these aches can be debilitating, and over time, can reduce your quality of life.
Hydrotherapy baths in the privacy of your home can provide pain relief as an alternative or in addition to pain medications, with fewer side effects. Laying in a tub may not seem like a treatment, but in this guide, well show you how it can improve conditions that cause you back pain.
What Can I Put In My Bath To Help My Back
The main thing people recommend adding to a bathtub for back pain relief is Epsom salt. Thats the primary ingredient in a lot of commercial bath salt.
Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate. Healthline explains that when its dissolved into a hot bath, the magnesium sulfate is absorbed by the skin and sore muscles.
If the issue is tight or sore muscles, which can happen after overexertion, Healthline also suggests putting a tennis ball or a similarly sized rubber ball into the tub. Position it between your back and the side of the tub you are leaning against, and gently move back and forth. The ball will move, creating a massage-like action that can loosen sore, tight muscles.
Other experts suggest adding sea salt, lavender oil, or chamomile oil to a hot bath to reduce inflammation. You can add them to a hot bath with or without Epsom salt.
Of course, check with your medical professional before trying any of these ideas to ensure you dont have a condition that would be a contraindication for these treatments.
Talk to Total Chiro About Back Pain Relief
Chiropractic care can be a useful component for overall health. In addition to adjustments, we can provide advice on lifestyle and exercise choices to improve your quality of life and decrease pain. Fill out the contact form on our website or give us a call at for a free consultation or to get started with treatment.
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Why Should You Take A Bath Soak For Sore Muscles
A bath soak helps in blood circulation, loosens stiff joints, and helps in relaxing your muscles. They also increase the elasticity of your tissues to relieve pain and tightness. They increase the oxygen level in your body, thus relieving sore muscles.
Now that you know how great bath soaks are for relieving your sore muscles, check out the best ones in the market below!
What Can I Put In My Bath For Back Pain
May 5, 2022 by Dr. Todd Goldman
Whether its overexerting yourself in the garden, overdoing it during weekend sports, or just general aches and pains, we often default to a hot bath to soak away the pain. Theres also a whole industry of products promising relief if added to a hot bath. Do they really work? And does a hot bath help with pain or make things worse?
Soothe Your Muscles With A Safe Bathing Experience
Regularly taking hot baths for sore muscles can help soothe your aches and pains. With 44 strategically located air and water jets, our walk-in tubs ensure a safe, relaxing, and accessible hydrotherapy experience you can enjoy every day. To find out if a walk-in tub is right for you, take this quiz.
Hydrate For Enhanced Elimination
You sweat under water. In a hot bath, oddly enough, you can really lose a quite a lot of fluid.
Sweating is an important form of excretion, and some waste metabolites are removed from the body this way. Exercise is one way to do this, of course, but a hot bath is a lot easier and, in fact, people usually sweat much more in a bath than they ever do when exercising.
Some people will call this detoxification, but I encourage you to stay away from that word it gets thrown around waaaaay too casually . A good sweat is a dandy thing, but it isnt detoxifying any more than having a bowel movement. It is more sensible to simply say that sweating stimulates normal elimination of waste products.
But sweating a lot in a bath also means that you must drink water before, during, and after! This is a vital key that most people miss. If you dont hydrate, a hot bath can be fairly stressful. I think this is actually a major reason why some people do not like baths they get much more dehydrated than they realize, and thats a one-way ticket to grumpyland. A headache is the most common consequence. You must replace lost fluids to feel good after a hot bath.
If I melt dry ice, can I take a bath without getting wet?
comedian Steven Wright
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Find Activities That Make You Happy
Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.
Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each daysuch as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved onecan make pain more tolerable.
Side Effects And Precautions
When used as directed, essential oils shouldnt cause any major side effects. Skin rash and irritation can occur without proper dilution or patch testing ahead of time.
Talk to a doctor if youre pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any underlying medical conditions. Keep in mind that aromatherapy can effects pets, children, and others in the area. Remember that essential oils are extremely potent. Also, dont take them by mouth or use them on or near your eyes.
The complexity of back pain requires a comprehensive treatment plan. Not only should you focus on alleviating pain, but youll also want to fight the underlying inflammation that could be contributing to your back ailments.
Other treatments include
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