Back pain is one of the commonest problems in all age groups, both in India and around the world. Its triggers are many and generally fall under injuries, inflammation, poor sitting posture, among others. Back pain is also actually believed to be a form of arthritis and in the long run, can require surgical interventions for a patient to live a quality life.
Nonsurgical methods or as we normally refer to them as conservative methods have been used for decades to alleviate back pain. Among them, we have acupuncture, massage, drugs and above all, hot and cold packs.
At this point, we are more than delighted to tackle a common controversy or argument in which some individuals realize no benefit of using hot or cold compressors or packs. Others believe that hot packs are better while others cold ones.
Hot “Heat” Approach & When To Apply It
Most reviews indicate that heat is good for relieving back pain, especially when it is severe. This is because the heat helps to focus on the trigger points and also calms the nervous system.
The best orthopaedic doctor at our centre notes that heat or hot packs are excellent when it comes to treating muscles and stress. A patient with back pain can use a bath to relax the back. Other ways of using the heat approach are through applying hot water bottles or heating pads. While using the pads and bottles, it’s best that you wrap them in a towel to prevent further injuries to the back.
Many people report positive reviews about this particular system of alleviating back pain.
Cold “Ice” Approach & When To Apply It
This approach is recommended for injuries that are commonly obtained during sports activities. The cold approach won’t cure the back pain, but it is a good approach to dealing with the swelling muscles and pain after an injury.
Using the cold packs in the real sense lowers the inflammation of the damaged tissue and a good alternative for medicines. Patients can use actual ice packs or wrap the ice blocks in a towel and then apply it to the affected back region.
For effective results, you can apply the ice packs for 25 minutes However, patients with circulation problems aren’t advised to use ice packs ‘cold’ approach since this can trigger several problems.
A patient should also remember that applying too much ice on the damaged region can cause tissue damage.
Which Treatment Approach Can I Use??
The best thing to do is talking to a doctor before using any approach. Using the wrong approach won’t lead to death, but it can trigger undesired results that can also worsen your condition.
For an instance, in case a hot pack is applied to an inflamed muscle, this can directly worsen the injury “inflammation”. In the same way, an ice pack can make tensed up muscles stiffer.
The hot and cold approaches are used by many patients and are effective in case you apply the right treatment on the right injury. Talk to your doctor in case of a back injury and recurrent back pain.