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Combining Hot and Cold Treatments for Back Pain

Treating spinal pain doesn’t necessarily require surgery, medication, or advanced forms of therapy. Sometimes the old, tried-and-true methods of applying ice and heat are all it takes to relieve pain and discomfort. In fact, heat therapy and cold therapy could be doubly effective in alleviating pain when they are combined.

Heat Therapy Methods

Applying heat stimulates blood flow and can speed up your body’s natural healing process. This is a great method for getting rid of soreness, relaxing tight muscles, and reducing the frequency and pain of muscle spasms.

Heat therapy can be done at home but should always be done with caution. If you burn the skin covering the area of your back that is causing you pain and create a surface wound, it will prevent you from continuing to use hot and cold methods. Common heat therapy methods that could help alleviate back pain include:

  • Microwavable heat packs
  • Heating up a wet hand towel in the microwave (take particular caution with this one)
  • Electric heating pads

Because heat therapy can sometimes cause drowsiness, it is important to make sure you don’t fall asleep while heat is applied, especially when using an electric heating pad, as these can cause serious, painful burns. It is also important to remember that heat therapy can cause minor dehydration, so be sure to drink up when applying heat.

Cold Therapy Methods

Cold therapy methods are intended to reduce inflammation. Applying ice to the affected area is great for reducing inflammation at the point of injury and an effective method of pain relief long after the initial injury. It is also effective in decreasing the time it takes for your injury to heal.

When heat therapy and cold therapy are combined, you can minimize swelling, decrease recovery time, increase the flow of blood and lactic acid, and reduce the amount of pain caused by your back issue or injury. If you have back pain, our team at QualCare Rehabilitation is here to help you come up with a comprehensive plan for recovery so you aren’t held back by discomfort or pain.

Make us your Houston injury rehab center by calling (713) 558-0042 or send us a message to get the conversation started and begin exploring your options today.