Back pain is something that most adults have experienced at some point of our lives. Back pain is a common problem that can cause discomfort and lack of sleep. Most of the time, back pain can be managed with simple treatments. There are several options available. One of the most effective options is heat treatment for back pain.
Heat therapy not only provides comfort and relaxation, it also provides pain relief and healing benefits for different types of back pain. Heat therapy can be delivered in the form of warm gel packs, heating pads, warm baths, heat wraps and many other ways. All of these treatments are inexpensive, and easy to do at the comfort of your own home.
Heat Treatment for Back Pain
How does heat therapy work?
Common causes of lower back pain are muscle strains and over exertion. These increase the tension in the muscles and the surrounding tissues leading to muscle stiffness and pain. The muscle spasms of your back can range from mild to severe.
Heat therapy helps in relieving back pain through several mechanisms. These include:
- Improves oxygen supply to the affected back muscles – Heat therapy dilates blood vessels and therefore improves the circulation and the oxygen and nutrient supply to the back muscles. This helps the damaged tissue to heal properly and quickly.
- The application of heat stimulates the sensory receptors of the skin. This means that by applying heat therapy to the back muscles reduce the transmission of pain signals to the brain and therefore helps to relieve the discomfort.
- Heat therapy reduces the stiffness of the muscles – Applying heat therapy help stretches the muscles easier, and the surrounding tissues thus reducing the stiffness of the muscles and improving its flexibility.
There are several other benefits of using heat therapy that makes it more effective. Some people with back pain benefit with heat therapy alone, while many others see best results by combining heat therapy with other treatment options such as physical therapy and exercise. The advantage of using heat therapy is that it is inexpensive, effective, non-invasive and easy to do.
What are the types of heat therapy?
There are 2 options of heat therapy available. They are:
- Dry heat such as saunas and electric jade heating pads. Dry heat will draw out the moisture from your body. However, many believe that dry heat is the easiest to use.
- Moist heat such as moist heating packs, hot baths and steamed towel. Moist heat allows the heat to penetrate into your muscles and loose the stiffness.
The type of heat therapy that suits you best, can only be chosen by you. The way you feel about one type of heat therapy will be different from what your neighbor thinks. Therefore try a few options, experiment to see what kind of heat therapy works best for you and your back pain.
When should heat therapy be avoided?
Heat therapy should be avoided under some circumstances. These include:
- If your lower back is swollen or bruised.
- If you are a diabetic
- If you have an open wound in your back.
- Severe cognitive impairment.
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Peripheral vascular disease
Heat treatment for back pain is an inexpensive, easy to use, non-invasive form of treatment that is effective in pain relief for many forms of back pain. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatment modalities.