Should I Use Ice or Heat for My Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a condition that affects a significant number of people not only in the US, but also in other parts of the world. Some of the initial symptoms are:
dull and aching pain
pain that subsides with some movement or worsens when you remain immobile for a long time
stinging pain that keeps moving to your buttocks and feet
pain that goes away upon changing positions
There can be variations in the onset of symptoms, depending on what causes the condition. Lower back pain may be that pain that gradually develops with the passage of time, injury with delayed symptoms, pain that increases and decreases in intensity, and pain that you experience immediately after an injury.
If you lose control over the bowel and bladder, experience severe abdominal pain, rapidly lose weight with absolutely no changes in lifestyle or experience persistent fever, seek medical attention as soon as you can.
Pain in the lower back is usually caused by damaged intervertebral discs, improper movement of spinal joints and compressed nerve roots.
Chronic lower back pain is less prevalent, but its effects are more disastrous. It may consist of a disc problem, irritated nerve roots or a problem with the joints.
The condition can be caused by one or more of the following; lumbar herniated disc, compression fracture, degenerative disc disease, trauma, facet joint dysfunction, deformity, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and/or spondylolisthesis.
An infection in the spine, autoimmune disease and spinal tumors can also lead to pain in the lower back.
Getting Relief from Lower Back Pain
Both ice and heat can help you get relief from pain in the lower back. The big question is — which is the better option?
According to orthopedic surgeons, ice therapy should be applied on the lower back immediately after injury, and not more than 72 hours after. Cold therapy can help reduce pain by minimizing the inflammation and swelling of tissues. Additionally, it numbs sore tissues and minimizes tissue damage as well. You can use a bag filled with frozen vegetables, frozen towels or even frozen gel packs.
Orthopedic surgeons also recommend the use of heat therapy as a home remedy. It should be applied when inflammation and swelling have already subsided. Heat therapy plays a very important role in the healing process. It works by stimulating the flow of blood to affected areas, thus restoring nutrients and oxygen supply.
In addition to that, heat increases flexibility and prevents the conduction of pain signals to your brain. However, this solution is not ideal for people who are diabetic, suffer from dermatitis or have open wounds.
Spine Consult NJ
If you have been experiencing persistent lower back pain, please get in touch with our team at Spine Consult NJ. Every patient who walks into our premises walks out not only healthier, but also happier.
In addition to lower back pain, we also provide solutions for the following conditions:
adult degenerative scoliosis
vertebral compression fracture
lumbar spinal stenosis
degenerative disc disease, among others.
In case you have been diagnosed with, or you experience symptoms associated with lower back pain or any of the conditions mentioned above, please request an appointment.