Our Lacey Chiropractor Suggests Ice for Back Pain
When we hurt or injure our backs, it may not always be possible to get in to see a doctor or chiropractor immediately so it might be prudent to self treat. Our Lacey chiropractor has many self treatment options available for patients to try, but one very good option is ice for back pain. Why is this and when is it best to utilize this option?
Ice is Nice, Heat is Neat
This is one of the phrases we often use with our patients, along with, if in doubt, ice it out. Both ice and heat can be powerful allies in combating back pain. Heat is better used in soft tissue injuries, such as muscle strains, while ice for back pain better for joints. It can often difficult to distinguish what type of injury you might have on a self diagnosis basis, so at first it may be prudent to try both methods and see which one works best.
How Long to Use Ice for Back Pain?
Typically, for treating the area, we would say 10 to 15 minutes with an ice pack on the problem area. Do not keep it beyond this as you could potentially cause frostbite (especially if you’re using ice wrapped in a towel). Anything over that time really doesn’t provide any better relief anyone. 15 minutes is around the optimal time.
For heat, use a heat pack and for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. This helps with soft tissue injury such as muscle strains and spasms.
Within any hour, apply the treatment for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. So 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off. You don’t have to do this every hour, but three or four times in the day can give good results. If you’re finding that you are seeing minimal to no results, come in and see us. We can examine you and apply appropriate treatment to your problem area. It may even be caused by another part of your body (for example, hip and back are closely related, if the hips are out of alignment then that can cause low back pain).
It is always best to use an ice pack, which you can get from Walmart or your local pharmacy even. Heat pads are also great and inexpensive, again from the same suppliers. Even Amazon has them. In both cases, the device will have been designed properly for this use and will help get optimal results.
Other Self Treatment Options
There are other self treatment options such as gentle stretches, inversion tables (these are surprisingly inexpensive) and even yoga can help. Anything to help decompress the joint to bring relief. Pain killers such as Ibuprofen help reduce inflammation as well. Ultimately, that’s what our chiropractor Lacey does through adjustments. We’re looking to decompress the joint and break up scar tissue and reduce inflammation. Ice for back pain helps to reduce inflammation and this helps to decrease pain.
We also have a podcast of these subject that can provide more additional info. You can hear it on our podcast channels, on Android or Apple, and we invite you to subscribe as we are putting out more and more valuable content and help like this all the time.
Again, if you are in pain and self treatments aren’t working, come in and see us. Walk ins are welcome, but you can also schedule an appointment. If you are a new patient, we have all our paperwork online for you to complete at your convenience and bring in when you come in. It’ll save you filling in at our office and get you seen quicker.