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Ice or Heat for Neck and Back Pain Relief

So is your low back screaming at you for overdoing it, and you're wondering if ice

or heat would be the better option for pain relief? What do you choose?

In this quick video, I'll help answer that and hopefully get you feeling some pain relief.

Hi everyone, Dr. Rowe here at SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center

in St. Joseph, MI. So let's dive right in and

tackle the ice versus heat dilemma for lower back pain. It's pretty simple

actually when it comes to neck or low back pain,

I usually don't recommend putting ice on it. Why? Well to start with, ice can

actually make your back or neck more sensitive. The chilling effect of ice

causes soft tissue to tense up, causing more muscle tightness and increased

sensitivity or pain later on. If you've ever experienced a neck or back injury

you definitely know the effects of trigger points (or muscle knots) that can

be painful to the touch. The muscle spasms and cramping that cause trigger points

can likewise be made worse by the chilling effect of ice. However, if you

feel ice gives you more relief, then by all means, keep using it.

I'd recommend comparing it to heat and see if you get more relief. So why heat over ice?

Heat helps increase blood flow to the affected area which promotes healing

while also loosening tension in the soft tissue around the back or neck.

This helps decrease neck and lower back muscle stiffness, increasing flexibility also.

Heat is better for patients with chronic aches and pains - such as spinal

degeneration and arthritic conditions. In short, heat loosens you up, gets you

moving around easier and makes you feel more relaxed. That's a win in my book.

When it comes to dealing with a stiff neck or back, one main point I want to

make about using heat: don't use it for treating inflammation, swelling, and bruising

especially with new injuries. It can actually make it worse. If you're unsure

when to use heat or ice always get a professional opinion. Email me, send me a message.

I'll be more than glad to answer it for you. If you have any comments or

questions please leave them below. Thank you for watching!