Heat or Ice for Back Pain?

Why do we always recommend that you use an ice pack instead of a hot water bottle or a heat pack? Here is why. Although the heat feels nice on the affected area it isn’t actually helping. Why? Because the area you are putting the heat on is already hot and inflamed, although you might not feel that it is hot and inflamed it doesn’t mean that it isn’t so by putting heat on the already inflamed area you are affectively putting heat on heat which doesn’t do anything. However, if you use an ice pack or ice therapy then the cold will reduce the inflammation. It might not feel as nice but it’s cooling down the area and reducing pain and inflammation making your back better. Using heat instead of cold won’t make your back any worse, it just doesn’t make it any better either.

How do you use an ice pack?

This might seem like a strange question however it is one of our most frequently asked questions in the clinic. Firstly you make sure the ice pack is cold so stick it in the freezer, sounds obvious but we get asked where to keep it all the time. The freezer is where it is kept. When you first put an ice pack in the freezer it can take up to an hour to freeze depending on the temperature of your freezer. Next you need to wrap the ice pack in either a tea towel or a few layers of kitchen roll before you apply it, this is super important as this prevents ice burn so ALWAYS do this step. Then you just place it on the sore area or the area the chiropractor has told you. If you are unsure where to put it then make sure you ask your doctor because if you are suffering from a trapped nerve like sciatica and you are getting pains down your leg, you want to place the ice pack where the nerve is trapped which will be in the lower back. You should Keep the ice pack on for about 10-15 minutes or until the ice pack warms up and is no longer cold then put it back in the freezer until you need it again.

How often do you use an ice pack and what can you use it for?

If you are struggling with lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, joint pain or a slipped disc, herniated disc then use an ice pack or ice therapy for 10 – 15 minutes and repeat every hour.

What is Ice therapy?

Ice therapy is using either an ice pack and/or cold pain relief gels such as the one we use and sell at the clinic. So always remember ICE ICE BABY!

Ice or Heat for Back Pain