Ice or Heat for Neck and Back Pain Relief

Ice or Heat for Neck and Back Pain Relief


So is your low back screaming at you for
overdoing it, and you’re wondering if ice or heat would be the better option for
pain relief? What do you choose? In this quick video, I’ll help answer that and hopefully get you feeling some pain relief. Hi everyone, Dr. Rowe here at
SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center in St. Joseph, MI. So let’s dive right in and tackle the ice versus heat dilemma for
lower back pain. It’s pretty simple actually when it comes to neck or low
back pain, I usually don’t recommend putting ice on
it. Why? Well to start with, ice can actually make your back or neck more
sensitive. The chilling effect of ice causes soft tissue to tense up, causing
more muscle tightness and increased sensitivity or pain later on. If you’ve
ever experienced a neck or back injury you definitely know the effects of
trigger points (or muscle knots) that can be painful to the touch. The muscle
spasms and cramping that cause trigger points can likewise be made worse by the
chilling effect of ice. However, if you feel ice gives you more relief, then by
all means, keep using it. I’d recommend comparing it to heat and see if you get more relief. So why heat over ice? Heat helps increase blood flow to
the affected area which promotes healing while also loosening tension in the soft
tissue around the back or neck. This helps decrease neck and lower back
muscle stiffness, increasing flexibility also. Heat is better for patients with
chronic aches and pains – such as spinal degeneration and arthritic conditions. In
short, heat loosens you up, gets you moving around easier and makes you feel
more relaxed. That’s a win in my book. When it comes to dealing with a stiff
neck or back, one main point I want to make about using heat: don’t use it for
treating inflammation, swelling, and bruising especially with new injuries. It can
actually make it worse. If you’re unsure when to use heat or ice always get a
professional opinion. Email me, send me a message. I’ll be more than glad to answer
it for you. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below. Thank you for watching!

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