Hot or Cold?

Many people come to our Lynnwood chiropractic clinic with this question: should I apply ice to my back pain, or heat? The answer is not as simple as choosing one or the other. Indeed, strange as it may be, both heat and cold have their benefits to many varieties of pain, and both of them can be used to relieve your back injuries. Some people may take ice baths to prevent and relieve pain and inflammation. Some people may take a trip to the spa or sauna to use heat to relieve tight and sore muscles.

In general, doctors advise that you use ice for the first two days after an acute injury. This is especially true if you notice any swelling at the site of the pain. Ice is good at getting rid of the inflammation that causes us pain and impedes our ability to repair ourselves. After the first forty-eight hours, it’s time to switch to heat. This opens up your blood vessels, loosens your tight muscles, and encourages your body to recover.

Ultimately, however, icing and heating a pain site isn’t a precise science. People and injuries vary greatly, so you should always stick with whatever feels best for your particular situation. For additional help on how to heat and ice your back pain, please consult our Lynnwood chiropractor.