Cold Therapy for Back Pain
Applying ice to your back soon after your injury can help relieve pain. Technically, any use of cold for pain relief is known as cryotherapy. Cold therapy goes far beyond ice packs or the bag of frozen peas used in a pinch to relieve pain, muscle spasms and inflammation.
How does cold therapy provide pain relief? The cold affects the nerve impulses notifying the brain of pain. By slowing down this response, pain is alleviated. Cold controls inflammation via blood vessel constriction, reducing swelling. If you want to know more about the benefits of cryotherapy for back pain, consult a distinguished back pain doctor as soon as possible.
Basic Cold Therapy
While an ice or gel pack applied to an aching back will help, it is important not to stick the pack directly on your skin. Place a thin cloth between the cold pack and your skin to avoid tissue damage. If you cannot feel your skin beneath the cold pack, stop using it. Use the cold pack between 10 and 20 minutes at a time, several times daily.
Choosing Between Cold and Heat Therapy
How do you decide whether to use cold or heat therapy for back pain? Your doctor will give you the best advice for your situation, but generally, cold therapy is more useful for acute injuries rather than chronic back issues.
Since cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and accelerate healing, it is crucial to start icing or similar applications as soon as possible.
Cold Therapy Machines
Your doctor may recommend using a cold therapy machine. Such a device can deliver better therapeutic results than an old-fashioned ice pack, as this type of cryotherapy allows the cold to penetrate deeper.
Pain relief lasts longer, and users often regain mobility and go back to work faster than patients using conventional ice treatment.
The wraps used with cold therapy machines permit the cold to penetrate uniformly, resulting in more effective relief. Using a cold therapy machine is actually safer than applying ice because you can control the temperature.
Skin damage will not occur. Your body temperature melts the ice, so you will need to change the ice pack regularly. That is not the case with a cold therapy machine. Cold therapy will work on any strained body part, not just the back. The wraps permit use in virtually any area, without the difficulty of holding or changing an ice pack.
Talking to a Back Pain Doctor
Back pain can range from being mildly irritating to completely debilitating however, you do not need to suffer in silence. There are a variety of different treatment methods that can help, including cryotherapy/cold therapy. If you would like more information about using cold therapy to treat back pain, speak with an experienced back pain doctor. A skilled back pain doctor can use their knowledge to assess potential causes of pain and help you figure out the treatment that works best for you.