With the recent American College of Physicians (ACP) recommendations for back pain relief emphasizing the use of non-drug treatment as the first line of treatment, including heat-wraps, we set out to find what other experts are saying about the use of heat or ice on the lower back.
Spine-health lists three ways that heat therapy helps with pain and healing. First, heat dilates the blood vessels, increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This promotes healing.
In addition to quicker healing of damaged tissue, a greater level of flexibility is achieved through heat application. Muscles, connective tissue, and adhesions relax, loosen, and begin to stretch more easily. A decrease in stiffness really increases your comfort level.
Finally, pain signals to the brain are decreased as heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin. Read all the details from Spine Health here.
It is important to know when to choose ice instead of heat as your go-to to ease pain and discomfort. Experts at University Health News help define the right symptoms for using each, reserving ice for sudden traumatic injuries and sciatica. Those long-term pains like arthritis and spinal stenosis call for heat instead.
If you're ready to invest in heat or ice therapy that is long lasting and reusable, and stays in place while you go through your day, be sure to check our assortment of products For the Back.
The decision of whether heat or ice is best for your pain is an important one - so do talk to your doctor or medical professional first, as using the wrong one can make things more uncomfortable, rather than less so. If icing is the answer, many of our solutions can be used either way - frozen to apply icing relief, or heated. The best of both worlds!
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