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Heat or Ice for Back Pain?

Which is better… heat or ice for back pain?

Jesse Cannone, leading back pain specialist from The Healthy Back Institute, answers one of the most common questions we get from our readers and viewers, which is better, heat or ice?  There are a couple schools of thought on this topic.  Heat or ice both do same thing—they shock the body into breaking the pain-spasm cycle. Heat causes the body to circulate more blood to the area in order to cool it down. That brings more oxygen and nutrients, and removes waste products, which help heal the tissue. Cold is similar—the body sends more blood to the area to warm it up and promote healing. Heat or cold also shut down the nerves that fire the pain signals—heat relaxes them, cold numbs them. When the brain doesn’t get the pain signals, it doesn’t act to contract muscles and constrict blood flow. After applying heat or ice consistently and continually for a certain period of time, the pain-spasm cycle is broken. Then, real healing can begin.

Our advice on whether to use heat or ice for back pain would be:

  1. Use ice first, typically within the first 48 hrs. Use it for 20 minutes, then take it off for 20
  2. Switch to ice/heat contrast; 15 minutes of ice followed by 15 minutes of heat and repeat three times.
  3. Finally use only heat

In regards to where you get your heat source from,  we have found that Far Infrared heat, works much, much better than a standard electric heating pad. Whether it is a Far Infrared heating pad or a Far Infrared sauna , both are proven very effective at reducing inflammation and speed healing.

heat or ice

There are also other ways to help fight inflammation in the body along with heat or ice.

You can help fight inflammation internally.  Whether it is eating healthy anti-inflammatory foods and taking proteolytic enzymes, such as Heal-n-soothe,  which works on the inflammation inside and out. For more information on inflammation and how you can combat it naturally, you can go to our website, www.losethebackpain.com

If you have any questions or feedback regarding heat or ice for back pain, please leave a comment below…