Should I use heat or ice on my back for pain?

Heat or Ice? for my back.

About twice a week,  a new patient gets out of their car with white knuckles wrapped around the door sill while trying to keep their back straight and every facial muscle  tenses with a pail complexion of fear. After 5 minutes of this limbo la process, they slowly creep into the office. When I come out to greet the patient, they’re standing in dread of sitting or another limbo la process is needed to extract themselves from the chair. Without asking, I know that this patient hurt themselves and most likely started using the soothing sirens song” of heat and now they are experiencing  being dashed on the rocks” by using  heat on their spine. Heat on a new spinal injury is like putting gasoline on a fire, nothing good can come of it.

“But my friends PT (physical therapist) said she could use heat” – you have to understand the chronology of that statement before you use it.

  1. Mary Jo hurts her back and thinks “maybe it will go away”
  2. Mary Jo waits a few days and it’s the same so she see’s her medical doctor (4 days since injury)
  3. Mary Jo takes the prescription that her MD gave her for 2 weeks (18 days since injury)
  4. Mary Jo goes back to her MD, pain is still there, MD refers to PT’s ( 20 days since injury)
  5. Mary Jo arrives at PT clinic (21-28 days since injury)

Acute Injury = 0-14 days since injury

Mary Jo first saw her PT between 21-28 days after the injury, now its chronic. If the PT had seen her in the 0-14 days, ice should have been the recommendation.

Heat in the first 14 days after an injury can increase your pain and duration of the pain up to three times greater.

NFL teams are using ice baths for their athletes after every competition and practice. Please remember “Ice is Nice” – cold provides pain relief and also reduces swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. When icing injuries, never apply ice directly to the skin. Have a damp terry cloth between your skin and the ice bag and never leave ice on an injury for more than 30 minutes at a time, then leave it off long enough for the skin to re-warm, usually 30 minutes. Longer exposure can damage your skin and even result in frostbite.

When you get an injury, do you put ice or heat on the injury? What’s your answer?

Chiropractic is the science and art of finding and correcting vertebra that are misplaced and causing neurological dysfunction. By moving the vertebra back to its normal position and allowing the command and control system of the body (the nervous system) to function at optimum performance, your body is free to function as it should. Call today to schedule an appointment with your chiropractor.

“Ice is Nice”

Yours in health,

Dr. Trace Palmer – Chiropractor

Palmer Chiropractic, 11400 Ford Ave, Richmond Hill, Ga 31324  912-756-3433

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  1. Celebrating 12,000 Visits to Palmer Chiropractic Blog | Richmond Hill Ga 31324 - Palmer Chiropractic

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