Using Cold Therapy To Treat Back Pain
Cold therapy is one of the most overlooked, cost effective methods of pain management. A simple method of dealing with pain, cold therapy can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Also known as cytotherapy, cold therapy is a treatment method where an ice pack, cold therapy machine, or other cold therapy method is used for pain management. CIt works by reducing the natural body’s response to pain which can take the form of excessive inflammation. Cold therapy helps heal injuries faster than the body naturally would on its own.
Thirty-one million Americans live in back pain. The use of cold therapy could help most of these people manage their pain and live fuller lives.
When To Apply Cold Therapy
Between 24 hours and 72 hours after an injury is the best time to administer cold therapy on your back. Cold therapy constricts blood flow in your blood vessels; this prevents blood from rushing through your veins quickly and subsequently sending pain signals to your brain.
Other ways to use cold-therapy:
- After surgery to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Athletes use cold therapy for muscle recovery after a workout. The cold helps muscles heal and prepare for the next gym session.
- For additional pain relief for conditions like: dermatitis, migraine, headaches, among others.
How To Use Cold Therapy On Your Back
When performing cold therapy on your back, make sure you’re lying flat on your back with your knees bent. Bending your knees prevents you from putting too much pressure on your back. It is recommended to apply the cold therapy device to your back for 20 minutes at time. Try to remain still until the twenty minutes of cold therapy are over. Staying still helps the muscles rest and lets the cold therapy work as it should.
For cold therapy to work well without harming you, you should make sure to use it in intervals. Ice your back for twenty minutes, then let the blood flow naturally by getting in some movement. You’ll have to walk around in-between breaks to make sure blood flows in your vessels.
Icing your back for over twenty minutes will dilate blood vessels and that isn’t good for your injury points. Intervals of between one to two hours are required. During the first 72 hours, you can ice your injured back up to six times. Just make sure the intervals are not less than an hour or at least forty minutes.
Do not apply ice directly on your back. Always make sure you have a barrier between the cold therapy pad or ice pack and your skin. Many find that using a t-shirt works well. Putting ice on the skin can cause injury or harm the skin. Many cold therapy machines can protect you from injury as they have protective padding. They help you spread the cold at pressure points for a given period when you can use a timer. They are way safer, and you definitely won’t be at risk if you fall asleep while applying the cold to your back because the machine will turn off after the designated twenty minutes.
What To Expect During a Cold Therapy
As soon as you apply the ice or cold from a machine onto your back, you’ll feel cold at first. After a while, you’re going to start having a burning/ tingling sensation in your back, followed by aching. Finally, you’ll feel the numbing effect of cold therapy. All these sensations will happen during the twenty-minute phase when administering cold treatment.
If you experience unbearable pain or too much burning sensation, stop use immediately.
Importance of Cold Therapy
- It reduces inflammation and pain. By reducing swelling, pain signals aren’t sent to the brain as fast.
- Decreases blood flow initially, then there is a reflex increase in oxygen-rich blood flow to the point of injury.
When Shouldn’t You Use Cold Therapy?
- If you have open wounds, don’t use cold therapy because the skin is open and more vulnerable to freeze injury.
- Cold intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment, and using cold therapy when you have this condition might harm your health.
- If you have decreased sensation in the area, being treated with cold therapy isn’t a good option. These conditions include; Ieraynaud’s disease and paralysis.
Methods of Applying Cold Therapy For Back Pain
There are different ways you can apply cold therapy to your injured back.
An ice pack is the most at-hand device you can easily find at the comfort of your home right after an injury. Put some rubbing alcohol in a double freezer bag, then add two cups of water. Place the bag in the freezer for about an hour. Due to the alcohol, the components in the bag will reach a freezing point but won’t be solid. Wrap the freezer bag in a towel and lie on it with your knees bent.
Unlike an ice pack, a cold pack is more efficient and doesn’t need to stay in the freezer for an hour. Cold packs contain a gel that isn’t wholly frozen, allowing it to apply to any part of the body. Cold packs come in many sizes and shapes to fit different parts of the body.
Cold Therapy Wrap
A cold therapy wrap uses both cold therapy and compression therapy to ease the pain. Cold therapy wraps are designed for specific areas, and you can find one for your knee and back. These wraps are reusable, and you can feel the effect hours after removing them.
Cold Therapy Machine
A cold therapy machine is the easiest to use, and it allows you to even set a timer for the twenty minutes that you should be using it. Cold therapy machines are very efficient because the effects of the therapy last for hours after use.
As much as cold therapy is overlooked, it is an efficient way to manage pain at the first stage of injury. Many available cold therapy machines and devices can help you heal faster and with less pain. Source Cold Therapy offers a wide range of cold therapy devices that you can choose according to your needs.
To get the perfect cold-therapy machine that suits your needs, sometimes trial and error is a necessity. Source Cold Therapy offers various cold therapy devices that you can choose from to meet your needs.