According to recent data, back pain is cited as the leading cause of disability worldwide, leaving around 540 million people out of work at any given time. Studies show that a high incidence of mistreatment, largely sedentary lifestyles, and an increase in poor fitness and obesity are reasons why the number of back pain cases keeps going up. In the wake of this research and an emerging back pain epidemic, many people are wondering what they can do to ease the pain.
Will Cryotherapy Help?
Along with low-level laser therapy, massage, and rest, ice therapy can be a powerful non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive treatment for back pain.
One common question you may ask is, “Can ice therapy help?” We know that when we suffer from other kinds of injuries—a twisted ankle, a swollen shoulder, a torn muscle in the knee—our doctors recommend using an ice pack to help reduce the pain and swelling. The steady stream of pressure and ice can boost blood flow to the injury site, reducing inflammation, swelling, and nerve activity. But do the same principles apply when treating back pain?
The answer depends on your specific condition, but, in most cases, ice therapy will likely lead to temporary relief from pain in the back. Here are some of the back conditions that can benefit from ice therapy.
- Pulled Muscles in the Back – Providing powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects, icing a sore muscle in any part of the body—whether it is the knee, the shoulder, or the back—can bring positive results. Ice the injured area for about 20 or 30 minutes every hour during the day.
- Sciatic Nerve Pain – Mayo Clinic recommends using ice therapy to ease pain from sciatica caused by inflammation. It may be helpful to follow the standard cryotherapy protocol (20 or 30 minutes every hour), and then follow up with heat therapy after a few days, according to the clinic.
- Herniated Disk – The sharp, burning pain associated with a herniated (ruptured) disk in the back causes swelling and inflammation, which leads to pain. Icing the back periodically can help lessen the inflammation and relieve muscle spasms, soothing the pain and helping you feel like yourself again.
- Other Back Conditions – Some other back problems that may benefit from regular cryotherapy include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, degenerated disks, muscle soreness from working out, scoliosis, and arthritis in the back. If you have a condition that causes back pain, make sure to talk with your physician before starting a hot or cold therapy regimen.
The Downside of Cryotherapy for Back Pain
Indeed, applying ice to the back is probably a safe, effective way to get some relief. However, it does come with a few downfalls. The most challenging thing about using ice therapy for back pain is positioning. Unlike your knee, shoulder, or ankle, placing a cold compress on your back is a bit of a logistical challenge. Lying on the pack is awkward but possible, but it can be messy, so always wrap it in a towel to prevent leaking.
The other issue is that it can be a hassle for those who suffer from chronic back pain and don’t want to mess with melting ice packs all the time. If you have chronic low back pain, you may want to consider investing in a cold pack waist belt. Remember that you should never place ice directly on the skin, and it should always be wrapped in a thick barrier, such as a towel or a blanket.
Laser Therapy for Back Pain
A more convenient way to enjoy temporary relief of minor muscle aches, pain, and stiffness in the back muscles is to use the Curavi laser light therapy belt. By helping to relax the muscles in your back and increasing blood circulation to the area, it soothes those pain points so you feel better.
The Curavi belt is a comfortable, wearable device designed to fit perfectly around the low back, providing targeted relief without the awkwardness or challenge of having to lie on something. Try low-level laser therapy for low back pain today to see what the buzz is all about!