Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hot & Cold Back Pain Remedy

As a massage therapist, backaches are one of the most common complaints of pain that I receive. Often times we stress our backs through overuse or injury which can cause painful swelling of the joints and surrounding tissues. So what do I do when my back gives me trouble? I change the temperature...

Cold is known for its ability to shrink things, and that includes bodily inflammation. So I turn to it regularly. I use ice bags or bags of frozen veggies to treat my back. To reduce risk of further injury, I place a cloth or thin towel between the ice pack and my skin and alternate therapy like this; apply for about 20 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes) on the achy area followed by 30 minutes off (or 30 minutes of moist heat), then another 20 minutes on again.

I find that alternating heat with cold, really improves my circulation, healing and pain relief. Alternating application of heat and cold is sometimes called a vascular flush because the heat expands the blood vessels, and the cold constricts them, causing a "flushing" action.

Just remember that the general time recipe ratio for hot and cold application is three to one. For every three minutes of heat, apply one minute of cold. Also be careful with heat applications to avoid burning. Be very aware of the degree of heat of an application and how it feels against your skin! Then, be sure to end with the cold application cycle.

There are precautions to be aware of: Reynaud’s disease. If you have Reynaud’s disease, peripheral vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, hypersensitivity to cold, or reduced skin sensations do not use cold therapy applications. Diabetics should always use caution when applying ice to their skin.

So the next time you experience back pain, give this hot/cold treatment a try. You may be surprised at the amount of relief you will receive. Of course, getting a massage by a trained and experienced professional will also help, too. ; )

As always – Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

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