Ice Therapy for Back PainBy:Jamie Arnold
There are many different therapies available that are used to treat pain. However, one of the first choices of many people is still the common ice pack. With the first sign of pain, a quick trip to the freezer in the kitchen can help tremendously.
Ice therapy is a very easy treatment that is used to reduce swelling and inflammation of muscles to ease pain. It is recommended by doctors to use together with heat therapy, such as a heating pad to attain the best overall pain relief. It is also highly recommended to use because patients are able to do this independently. It doesn't cause any side effects, and it is also free since you can use ice from your own freezer.
How Does Ice Therapy Work?
Ice therapy is great because it actually helps reduce the swelling that is causing the pain around the muscles or the nerves. Once the inflammation is gone, the pain will usually subside. Ice therapy can be used in many ways, but most patients make simple ice packs by placing ice in Ziploc bags. These are simply made by placing ice inside Ziploc bags and placing it on the sore area of your back for about 20 minutes. Other ways to use ice therapy are:
- Plastic Water Bottles - Take a plastic bottle and fill it halfway with water and freeze it. Once frozen, wrap a cloth around it. The cloth will protect your skin from feeling frostbite.
- Frozen Cloths - Place a wet cloth inside the freezer and wait about an hour. You can place this on the affected part of your back to relieve the pain.
- Frozen peas - An all-time favorite is the frozen peas or other vegetable packages that you buy from the grocery store. They come pre-made and are a great size to fit on your back or neck. They are also able to easily conform to different parts of the body.
Can Ice Therapy Help Back Pain?
Ice therapy is a great way to alleviate back pain, but the therapy should last no longer than 15 to 20 minutes and no more than 5 to 8 times a day. The goal is to numb the pain within a 6-inch area at a time. If you move the ice in a circular motion known as the ice massage, this will greatly help numb the area, especially for those who suffer from chronic back pain. It reduces the inflammation and reduces the nerves reaction that causes pain.
Always consult with your doctor about back pain therapy. Ice therapy is a highly recommended and usually a safe method to do on your own; however, it may have to be used in conjunction with medications and physical therapy to help alleviate all back pain.