Should You Use Ice Or Heat For Back Pain Relief?

Elderly Man With Intense Lower Back Pain

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, but you want a natural alternative to painkillers, you may have heard about using ice and heat for back pain relief.

But should you use ice or heat for back pain?

How long, and how often should you use ice or heat?

And can it help your specific type of back pain?

You can find answers to all of these questions in this blog, as well as the best way to get long-term relief from back pain so it doesn’t keep coming back and you can get back to a pain-free, active life doing what you love.

Why Do People Use Heat Or Ice For Back Pain?

Many people like you, want pain relief for their lower back but don’t want to take pills or have injections.

And we understand why.

Pills can have nasty side effects, and injections can be extremely painful and inconvenient to get.

In extreme cases, you might be considering surgery but even that isn’t guaranteed to work and there are lots of risks to think about.

That means you are desperately searching for another option from what your doctor has given you – rest, pills, injections, and surgery – so could ice or heat be the solution?

Is Ice Good For Back Pain Relief?

Using ice to relieve lower back pain works by decreasing inflammation, reducing nerve activity, and numbing the area of discomfort.

Cold therapy can be used to reduce swelling and decrease the amount of lactic acid that builds up in the muscles after strenuous activities.

Cold therapy can also help to reduce muscle spasms and provide temporary relief for chronic back pain.

How To Use Ice For Lower Back Pain Relief

To use ice on your lower back, you can use an ice pack or even a bag of something frozen such as peas.

Whatever you use, don’t place it directly on the skin as this can damage your skin so use a towel or blanket in between the ice pack and your skin.

To get the most benefit, keep it on your skin for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Once the skin has returned to normal temperature again, you can reapply the ice.

Is Heat Good For Back Pain Relief?

Applying heat to relieve lower back pain works by dilating blood vessels and increasing circulation, which helps to relax stiff muscles, loosen up the area, and reduce pain.

Heat therapy is also known to help decrease inflammation and increase flexibility in the lower back muscles.

How To Use Heat For Lower Back Pain Relief

To apply heat to your lower back, you can use a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Just like the ice pack, do not place it directly on your skin and use it for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

What Is Better For Lower Back Pain – Heat Or Cold?

Ultimately, it depends on what type of back pain you are experiencing.

If you have injured your lower back after an incident in the gym, or when picking up something heavy, ice would be the best option to start with. Ice will help the lower back by reducing swelling, and providing some quick pain relief.

After a few days, switch to heat to accelerate healing from a lower back injury.

If you have chronic lower back pain – where you have long-term, regular back pain – then heat is the better option as there is no swelling to manage, and often the pain is caused by stiffness and tightness of the lower back muscles. Heat, similar to ice, can also provide relief from pain.

7 Simple Ways To End Back Pain & Stiffness

For more expert advice on stopping your back pain, founder and expert physical therapist, Dr. Nick Hunter, has written a special report that’s perfect for people who are desperately searching for fast, natural back pain relief.

Click HERE to download your FREE copy of this back pain report, and discover 7 simple ways to end your back pain and stiffness without taking painkillers or risking surgery.

Why It’s Not A Good Idea To Use Ice And Heat For Back Pain?

Ice and heat can be helpful if you are suffering from lower back pain, however, these ease lower back pain without actually addressing the root cause of your problem.

If your back pain is caused by an incident like a fall, or working out too hard in the gym, then there is a chance that your lower back pain will flare up again in similar incidents in the future.

Similarly, if you have chronic lower back pain, which has perhaps been a problem for years, then treating it with ice and heat isn’t going to address the underlying cause.

That’s where our expert team can help you.

At our clinic, we prioritize relieving back pain while finding the root cause of the problem, because we don’t want to give you temporary relief. We want to give you long-term relief from lower back pain without reliance on painkillers, injections, or resorting to surgery.

To learn more about why your back pain keeps coming back, and the best ways to cure it without medication, you can arrange a Free Back Pain Analysis at our clinic in Glendale, Arizona.

Due to extremely high demand, we have to limit the number of Free Back Pain Analysis appointments so click the link below, or call us on (623) 486-3333 to get yours before they are gone!

Arrange Your Free Back Pain Analysis

More Expert Advice For Back Pain Sufferers

Read Our Blog – How Do I Stop Having Back Pain At Night?

Read Our Blog – Why Back Pain KEEPS Occurring

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Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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