Heat and ice are commonly used to treat back injuries and to relieve pain.
However, depending on the injury, it may be more beneficial for you to use one over the other.
If you are ever in question about which to use you should consult with your back pain doctor in Atlanta, but a general overview of these items as treatment methods are outlined below.
Using Ice To Treat Back Pain
Ice treatment is generally effective in treating injuries to the soft tissues and in rehabilitation.
It is commonly used to treat bruises, strains, and sprains where some bleeding into the surrounding tissues occurs. When using ice as a treatment option, the following actions will occur:
- Reduction of pain and muscle spasms
- Reduction of swelling
- Reduction of tissue bleeding
- Reduction of pain by limiting swelling and numbing the area
Ice can also be used later during the recovery phase of an injury and can be beneficial in restoring normal functioning. Ice can be used to enhance other treatment options, like exercise, by reducing muscle spasms and pain.
When using ice, it is beneficial to apply it within ten minutes of an injury. Keep the ice applied to the injury for up to 30 minutes and repeat as needed every 2 or 3 hours.
Using Heat To Treat An Injury
Unlike ice, heat should never be used on a new injury, as this can increase bleeding and ultimately make the injury worse. However, once an injury is at least 48 hours old, heat can be used in the form of heat cream, heat pads, heat lamps, and hot water bottles.
Heat is effective because it can cause the dilation of blood vessels which can then direct more blood to the area.
Using heat can also help to relieve spasms and pain due to its direct soothing effect, but it is important to ensure that any heat applied is not too hot in order to avoid the potential for scalds or burns. In addition to that, your Atlanta chiropractor will help you recover from different injuries.