Greeting readers! For the next couple weeks, I will post one daily tip that might help you treat your acute or chronic back pain. My goal is to keep it short and to the point, with simple explanations.
TIP #1: Use a cold pack / Ice
I get this question all the time: should I use ice or heat?
Ice is a natural anti-inflammatory which will help decrease your pain by decreasing inflammation to the injured tissue.
Why not heat? While heat can be soothing -ish at first and often feels good while on, it only maintains inflammation, and therefore pain, around injured tissue..
Place an ice pack/ frozen gel pack inside a pillow case and applying it to the painful area for 15-20 minutes will help alleviate pain.
Repeat every hour as needed. Using ice at end of a hard day can really help take your pain a few notches down.
With icing, redness is common but should go away after 10 minutes. If it remains and you experience hives, itching or welts, ice is not for you.
If you plan on icing late in evening, ice right before bed, but do not sleep on an ice pack. You will wake up with a ice burn and can severely and permanently affect the area treated if left on for > 30minutes.
Of course this tip is valid for all other part of the body, not just your back.
Please visit the store page on my website for ice pack I recommend.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.