man holding his hand sore lower back ice packs for back

When you acutely injury your back or have pain from arthritis in your back, an ice pack is probably your best bet.  Ice has the ability to decrease inflammation of the joints and muscles in your back so that you can have pain relief that is almost instantaneous.

There are different kinds of ice packs for back pain—all of which can help your back feel better.

Ice Packs for Back Pain – Your 3 Ice Pack Options

1. Ordinary Ice Packs for Back Pain

You can get a zip lock bag and fill it with ice from your freezer.  Get out a cloth or towel to cover the ice pack in so that you won’t freeze your skin when the ice is applied to the back.  Sit or lie down on a couch or your bed and put the towel and ice pack on your lower back.

The inflammation can be relieved by using the ice pack for about thirty minutes at a time.  There is no benefit from putting ice on longer than that.

The biggest disadvantages of using an ordinary ice pack is that you can’t really move around when applying this type of ice pack.  They also run the risk of leaking as the ice melts on your back and, unless you have crushed ice, the ice pack will be lumpy and uncomfortable as you lie on it.

2. Using Frozen Vegetable Ice Packs for Back Pain

One of the handiest ways of putting something cold on your back is to get out a bag of frozen vegetables to treat the pain and inflammation of your back.  The best choice is a bag of peas, although any small frozen vegetable pack will do.

You basically get out a cloth or towel to put between the skin of your back and the pack of frozen vegetables (so your skin won’t freeze) and put it on your back for at least 30 minutes.  The vegetables will thaw during that time so you will have to refreeze it over a period of time before applying it again.

The main disadvantage of using frozen vegetables for an ice pack is that you cannot move around while the ice pack is on your back.  It doesn’t leak like a regular ice pack does, though, and, if you use small vegetables (like peas), they form fit to your back so that your whole back area can be covered.

You probably can’t eat the vegetables if you are using it to treat back pain as it will thaw and unthaw several times.

3. Specialized Ice Packs for Back Pain

There are specialized ice packs you can buy online.  There are regular rectangular ice packs, some of which come with a cloth cover that prevents freezing of the skin.  If you don’t have one that has a cover, you will have to use a cloth or towel between the skin and the ice pack.

The best ice packs to buy are those that have Velcro straps that allow you to move around while the ice pack is applied.  There are several manufacturers that make these kinds of ice packs.  They come with long straps that can be fastened around the back so you can move around while the ice is applied.

The ice is actually a gel that doesn’t freeze solid in the freezer.  It form fits to your back and keeps the cold on your back for a thirty minute period of time.  These ice packs can be cheap and are definitely worth the investment, especially if you have low back pain all the time.