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!