When You Should Use Ice or Heat For Back Pain For It To Be Most Effective

On a daily basis, one of the most common questions I get as the #1 Chronic Pain Expert in Edina is:

“Should I use heat or ice for lower back pain?”

One thing I do know for definite is that 9 out of 10 of my clients always tell me that their go-to home treatment is heat!

Whether that is from a heat pack or a soak in a hot bath, there is a clear winner here in Edina.

The main reason for this is that it is cold in Minnesota! And people do not like the head of holding an ice pack on themselves.

I appreciate it can be very confusing to know when you should use heat or ice for back pain, but everyone’s pain is different so there can be different answers depending on the person!

What Is Better For Lower Back Pain, Heat or Cold?

 So if everyone’s lower back pain is different, what is better to use, heat or cold?

In this blog, I will explore the difference between using heat or using ice when it comes to treating lower back pain so that you can effectively get quick and instant relief for your lower back pain at home.

When Do You Use Ice To Relieve Back Pain?

 Luckily for residents of colder states like Minnesota, there is only really one time when the go-to for lower back pain is to ice it.

And that is when it is an ‘acute’ injury.

An ‘acute’ injury means that that injury has just happened, such as a sprain or a pulled muscle.

This is because swelling and inflammation cause heat and pain as your body tries to protect and heal itself.

This may be more visible on other parts of the body like your ankle or knee, but the same thing is happening in your back!

Often the pain from your body trying to protect itself is worse than the actual injury itself.

By cooling it down with ice you can help ease the intensity of the pain as quickly as possible.

When To Use Heat For Back Pain Relief?

I always tell my clients, to think of your back as a block of noodles. When it’s cold it’s hard and more prone to breaking, but when it’s hot it’s softer and pliable.

That is why the best time to apply heat to your lower back pain is when you feel more stiff, achy, and like things that need a hand in moving.

It’s great to apply heat whenever you’re feeling rigid and stiff, there are also times when you can incorporate it into your daily life to keep that lower back pain away for longer.

While we sleep our muscles cool down because they aren’t being used, so that is why you may feel like your lower back pain is worse when you wake up!

This is why a hot shower directed onto the affected area can really loosen you up in the morning.

Combine that with some light stretching to ‘warm up’ for the day, and you’re on to a winner of being in control of your chronic lower back pain, and not having it control you!

So when should you use ice or heat for lower back pain? If it has just happened and is very painful then bring out the ice!

But if it is stiff and tight then it’s time to treat it like last night’s leftovers and warm it up!

No Matter What I Do It Won’t Go Away!

Have tried using heat or ice for back pain, and it feels like you are stuck in a loop of chronic back pain?

Well, then it is about DAMN time that you seek out the professional help of a physical therapist, like me, the #1 Chronic Pain Expert in Edina!

With over two decades of experience when it comes to treating chronic pain, I know just what it is that you need to get back to doing the things you love pain-free.

You can book a Free Discovery Visit, which is a great way to get started working with me.

You can come to my clinic, and we can talk about any questions you may have and discuss the next steps for any personalized treatment so that we can find the root cause of what is stopping you from doing what you love!

Chronic Pain Trapping You In The House? 

Even if your chronic pain is keeping you confined to your house, I have your back!

This is why you can also get a Free Phone Consultation, where you can still get to know me and ask me any questions that you have regarding finding the root cause of your chronic pain.

And all without the need to leave the house.

But no matter which option you choose, it is important to take action NOW so that you can stop living by what you can’t do, and start thinking about what you can do!

More Expert Advice To Help You End Chronic Pain

Read my expert article – How To Stop Chronic Headaches Taking Over Your Life

Or read The Best Ways That You Can Ease Your Chronic Back Pain Using Natural Remedies