Professionals often use both heat and cold therapy to treat back pain. Both methods can be effective when used correctly.
Are you curious about heat and cold therapy? Here's what you need to know before using either option to treat your back pain.
The Purpose of Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is often used to reduce pain and stiffness associated with back pain. The heat relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow, which can help to decrease inflammation and tension.
Some back conditions are best served with heat. Heat therapy is best used to treat back pain caused by muscle strain. It can also be used to treat chronic pain and tension.
Heat also helps to soothe soreness in the affected area. You'll feel less stiff after a heat therapy session, which can help you stretch and exercise to strengthen your muscles and get back to normal activities more quickly.
How Professionals Apply Heat Therapy
Heat is useful in several ways, including hot showers, heating pads, electric blankets, hot water bottles, and heat wraps.
Professionals may use heat therapy to treat back pain by combining it with other therapies. They include massage, chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and even physical therapy.
The Purpose of Cold Therapy
Cold therapy reduces inflammation and swelling. It is often used to reduce back pain caused by muscle strains and sprains. Many professionals also use cold therapy to treat back pain that results from arthritis or other chronic conditions.
Cold therapy also numbs pain receptors, so you won't feel as much discomfort. This can allow you to get some relief.
How Professionals Apply Cold Therapy
Cold therapy can be applied in several different ways. Ice packs and cryotherapy are the two most common cold therapy techniques used by professionals. Ice packs can be applied directly to the affected area, while cryotherapy involves using a cold mist.
Cold therapy can be used alongside heat therapy to provide greater relief. To treat back pain, professionals also combine cold therapy with stretching and exercise.
Choosing the Right Therapy Is Crucial
It is important to use the correct temperature and duration when applying heat or cold therapy to avoid injury. For example, too much heat can cause burns, while too much cold can damage the skin.
It is best to consult a professional before using either heat or cold therapy. A doctor or physical therapist can help you choose the best method for the source of your pain.
Contact a back pain treatment provider to learn more.