Is Ice or Heat Better for Your Back?


Thousands of people struggle with back pain every year, whether it’s just a temporary ache or a lasting pain. Back pain prevents people from going to work and living their daily lives, causing a ton of mental frustration in addition to their physical pain. When you have a backache, you’re willing to do just about anything to cure it, and many opt for taking ibuprofen or a muscle relaxant. Ice packs and heat packs are other popular back pain treatments, often being kept close by for whenever a painful episode begins. Which method works better all in all? This video gives us an outline of the effects of both heat packs and ice packs on back pain.

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When you use an ice back, you are preventing blood flow to wherever your pain is. On the other hand, heat packs dilate the blood vessels, or allow more blood flow. Ice packs should generally be used within the first 72 hours of injury. This span of time normally contains the inflammatory stage, which ice remedies. You don’t want to ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. The time for heat usage is even shorter, and should only be done after the inflammatory stage is finished.


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