Hot and Cold Therapy for Low Back Pain

Hot and Cold Therapy for Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the more common complaints that doctors hear from their patients. This type of pain can come about because you wear sky high heels every day to work, you don’t stretch properly before exercising or you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. Heat therapy and cold therapy can do wonders for lower back pain, but you need to know how to use each method.

How to Use Heat

A heating pad is one of the best remedies for a sore or stiff lower back. Set the heating pad to low or medium, place the cover that came with it over the pad and place it on your lower back. Make sure that you don’t place anything behind the pad, including a chair or cushion. Keep the pad on your back for no more than 20 minutes before taking a break. Moist heat is another option for those dealing with back pain, and moist heat can include a hot shower, warm bath or a hot pack. Hot packs contain a liquid or gel filling, and you place these packs in the microwave before using. If these methods fail to relieve your pain, try using a heat wrap that wraps around your entire body and works for several hours.

How to Use Ice

Some people swear that cold therapy works far better than heat therapy. Fill a small plastic bag with ice and just enough water to cover the top of the ice. Remove any excess air from the bag, cover it with a thick towel or blanket and apply to your lower back. You can also use a commercial frozen ice pack or even frozen vegetables from your freezer. Use the ice for no more than 20 minutes before taking a break. If heat or ice alone doesn’t work as well as you would like, try alternating the hot and cold packs throughout the day.

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