It's one of the most common questions asked of fitness-related professionals, yet one for which an answer is quite simple. The people at Bolton Therapy Centre have a guide prepared which should give you an response should it be needed.
The short answer is Cold for Acute, Hot for Chronic.
Acute, or the rapid onset of back pain, will react best to a cold compress, such as the tried-and-tested bag of peas (or anything else you can forage within your freezer). But don't leave it on for hours on end, as this could make the problem worse. Leave it in place for around 10 minutes at a time, and then take a break for an hour or so. This should help reduce any swelling and inflammation as well as dealing with the pain.
Chronic, or persistent pain in the region, is best tackled with heat. whatever your chosen method, it is best to apply intermittently rather than keep it in place for an extended period of time. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause inflammation and exacerbate the pain. Heat should, however, improve circulation and help the natural healing process.
Heat gels or cooling lotions are not recommended for most back pain, as the nerves can often be sensitive in the general location of the pain, and it isn't very easy to remove that which has already been applied. See an expert before resorting to any of these treatments.
If you have any further concerns, or would like to speak to someone in the know about back pain or any other pain you may have been experiencing, book an appointment with Bolton Therapy Centre. They are experts in their field, and will be happy to help out.
Bolton Therapy Centre , a Bolton based Physiotherapy practice with over 20 years experience in the treatment, recovery and prevention of musculoskeletal injury. Bolton Therapy centre are an accredited practice receiving regular quality assurance assessments from the Organisation of Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice.
Member since: 9th July 2012
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