In many acute pain and injuries, ice can minimize symptoms and prevent escalation of discomfort. Ice, when applied in a timely manner and appropriately, can reduce inflammation. Unchecked inflammation can allow the source of the pain to induce damage to the soft tissue such as muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Ice induces constriction of the blood vessels in the affected tissue areas and reduce blood flow serving to numb the pain. The removal of ice after 5-15 minutes allows restoration of blood flow, bringing various chemicals and nutrients necessary in aiding the healing process.
Back and neck injuries frequently involve muscle sprains and strained ligaments, which can spasm and become inflamed.Ice massage, or cryotherapy, is effectively used to treat many kinds of injuries, including those associated with back or neck pain.
Ice massage can provide a number of benefits, including:
- Assisting the body in minimizing tissue damage
- Mitigating muscle spasms
- Reducing or eliminating pain by numbing sore soft tissues
Ice therapy is not recommended as a form of treatment for any kinds of rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud's Syndrome (a circulatory disorder of blood vessels of the extremities), colds or allergic conditions, paralysis, or areas of impaired sensation.
While ice therapy is used to reduce swelling, heat therapy is used to relax the muscles and increase circulation. Both kinds of therapy help reduce pain.
Heat therapy is often used in patients who have chronic or long-lasting pain. Heat therapy can involve many kinds of methods, from simple heating pads, wraps, and warm gel packs, to sophisticated techniques, such as therapeutic ultrasound.
Back injuries can create tension and stiffness in the muscles and soft tissues of the lumbar region, or lower back. In many cases, your circulation may be impeded.
The tension in the muscles can sometimes escalate to spasms.
- Dilates the blood vessels of the affected muscles, allowing them to relax and begin healing.
- Helps lower discomfort by reducing the amount of pain signals going to the brain.
- Increases the ability of your muscles to easily flex and stretch, thereby decreasing stiffness.
Heat therapy, as well as ice therapy, are normally parts of an overall chiropractic treatment plan and rarely accomplish maximum results without it.
Heat therapy is not used on swollen or bruised tissues, or in patients who have dermatitis, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, open wounds, and cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension.