Heat Therapy – Back Pain Relief With A Heating Pad
Why Use A Heat Pad for Relief of Your Back Pain?
If you happened to strain the muscles in your back it makes for a very painful time just to walk around. In the first 48 hours generally the most helpful treatment for this type of back pain is ice massage and ice application. After 48 hours, however, the application of heat therapy is much more beneficial to relief of back pain. Sometimes alternating the application of heat and cold therapy provides the greatest pain relief.
Heat Therapy Benefits
Moist heat, in the form of a warm bath or a whirlpool, brings about the greatest comfort and healing for increasing circulation and relaxing those muscles in the back. The goal of using moist heat (or dry heat for that matter) is to drive heat into the affected muscle area. When you can apply heat to the injured area you get several benefits:
- relaxation of the back muscles (this reduces muscle spasms)
- the heat stretches the injured muscles and reduces stiffness
Generally the application of heating therapy is relatively inexpensive. You can apply heat in several different ways. You can use a heating pad, commercial heat wraps, hot water bottles, hot baths, warm gel packs, or many others.
Heat Therapy Precautions
You should always be careful to avoid burns when applying heat to the injured area. Always use warm heat and not be so hot that you potentially can burn the skin. Another mistake to avoid is to never fall asleep when using a heating pad. Many people have suffered burns when a pad is left directly on the skin while sleeping. It is always a good idea to use a protective barrier to avoid these mishaps. Use a towel wrapped around a heating source to avoid burns.
You should also note that he should not be used in certain circumstances. If the lower back is bruised or swollen, for example, you should not use heat. In this case and ice application better therapy because it will reduce inflammation and swelling in the injured area. If you have heart disease or hypertension you should consult your physician. If you have dermatitis and so your doctor first before using heat on the injured area.
Doctors will tell you that heat therapy is inappropriate for patients with dermatitis, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, any open wounds, or people with cognitive impairment. If you have any of these conditions don’t use heat therapy but consult your physician.
The bottom line is that treating an injured area generating lower back pain could require ice or heat applications to relieve the pain. You should try both to determine which results in greater relief of lower back pain.