As you may have heard, heat and ice help with back pain, but what is best to use for back pain? Well, it depends on the situation. The types of back pain that are alleviated by heat and ice therapy are chronic conditions, sport injuries/sprains/falls, and a pulled muscle. Here are the situations you should use heat or ice for:
- Chronic back pain: If you have had back pain that has lasted longer than 4 weeks, use heat therapy. Take a heating pad or heating wrap and apply heat to the affected area for 15-20 minutes each night. Make sure it’s not too hot though because it could irritate your skin.
- Acute back pain: If you have had back pain that has lasted less than 4 weeks, use ice therapy. Applying ice helps to reduce the swelling of the affected area. After the swelling has reduced, you can switch to heat therapy.