Right fit Solution for Your Back Pain
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Right fit Solution for Your Back Pain

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Right fit Solution for Your Back Pain

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When you feel pain in a part of your body that is walking the fine line between slightly bearable and downright unbearable, your first instinct may be to grab an ice pack.

This may even be a given, especially for acute injuries. All you want to do is plunge that pain into a place where you don't have to feel it.

Do you do the same for back pain, and should you? How should you apply it? How effective is it? What are the causes and symptoms of back pain? What are the alternative treatments for back pain?

The answers to all these questions lie in this article about back pain and how gel ice packs can work for it.



Back Pain

Back pain, especially lower back pain, is one of the main reasons people miss work. About half of the working population suffers from this ailment with varying intensity. It is rare for back pain to require surgery, but it happens.

Back pain can feel like an ache, a stabbing, a sharp pain, a throbbing, or a numb feeling. It can also lead to an inability to stand up straight. This variation may depend on the causes. So, what are these causes of back pain?

Lower back pain is also commonly referred to as lumbago. It can be a result of problems with your nerves, muscles, ligaments, discs, or even vertebrae. It is usually not a stand-alone disease; it is often the symptom of another condition.

Structural Problems

Structural problems that can cause back pain include arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, ruptured discs, and bulging disks.

Sciatica ruptured discs and bulging discs all have the same vertebrae origin. Vertebrae refer to the stacked bones that make up the spine. There are soft areas of tissue between each stack called discs. A problem with any of these discs, a bulge, herniation, or rupture, can cause back pain.

A ruptured or bulging disk can put a lot of pressure on your nerves which can cause pain. In the same vein, a bulging or herniated disc can press on and irritate your sciatic nerve causing sciatica. Pain from sciatica can radiate to your legs, causing tingling and numbness.

Arthritis is another structural problem that can cause back pain. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the tissues around your bones to wear out. This condition can lead to problems in the lower back and hips. Osteoarthritis can cause a narrowing of the spinal column, a condition called spinal stenosis.

Still under this category is osteoporosis, a condition that causes loss of bone density and makes your bones porous and brittle. This loss of bone density can cause small fractures in the vertebrae. These fractures, sometimes referred to as compression fractures, can be very painful.

Strains

You can strain your back when you try to put too much pressure on its muscles by lifting extremely heavy objects or moving in awkward ways that can twist your back. This is one of the most common causes of back pain. Strains, often confused with sprains, involve problems with the muscles or tendons. Sprains, on the other hand, have to do with ruptured ligaments.

Strains can also occur as a result of overwork or frequent hyperactivity. For instance, the pain you feel after a long day of playing a sport can be because of a sprain.

Other Causes

One of the other causes of back pain is infection. A spine infection can occur when you have a fever and your back feels tender. A bladder or kidney infection can cause back pain.

Poor posture and bad habits can also lead to back pain. These habits include hunching over desks, over-stretching, frequently carrying heavy objects, staying in one position for long periods, awkward sleeping posture, and awkward bending.

The cauda equina syndrome can also cause back pain. The cauda equina is the collection of nerves at the end of the spinal cord. Its symptoms include back and/or leg pain, urinary retention, sexual dysfunction, etc.

Some factors can increase your risk of developing back pain; they include pregnancy, poor fitness lifestyle, sedentary lifestyle, old age, genetic factors, smoking, and obesity.

Prevention

  • Exercise: Exercising regularly can help you maintain healthy body weight and build strength. Core-strengthening exercise can help strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, thereby reducing your chances of developing back pain.
  • Posture improvement: Try to maintain a proper posture, whether sitting or standing. Bad posture greatly contributes to back pain, which can strain your posture. Always remind yourself to sit or stand up straight.
  • Diet: Try to stick to a healthy diet with appropriate amounts of calcium.
  • Lifting properly: When lifting heavy objects, remember to always lift with your legs rather than your back.

Treatment

  • Medication: Over-the-counter painkillers may not be effective for back pain, so you may need to visit the doctor. Your doctor may prescribe narcotics, like codeine, and muscle relaxants.
  • Cortisone injections: This anti-inflammatory drug can be injected into the epidural space around the spinal cord.
  • Complementary therapies: These, as the name suggests, are often undergone alongside the main treatment plans. They include acupuncture and yoga.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This is a common therapy for patients with severe back pain. This process involves a machine delivering small electric pulses into the body via electrodes placed on the skin. Note that it should not be used by a pregnant woman, someone with epilepsy, or someone with a history of heart disease.
  • Surgery: Surgery is often used as a last resort, usually in the case of a herniated disk.
  • Homemade remedies: This is usually the first option for back pain. It is so because most back pains are usually not severe and can be easily treated with an ice pack. Apart from ice packs, another common home treatment for back pain is an over-the-counter medication. In this article, however, we will be focusing on how ice packs can help relieve back pain.

Reusable Ice Packs

The use of ice packs for treatment/pain relief falls under a form of therapy called cryotherapy. Reusable ice packs are known for their ability to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation in almost any part of the body. Ice packs work by cooling the tissues beneath the skin. This slows local tissue metabolism and constricts blood vessels which, in turn, reduces nerve conduction, creates an analgesic effect, and reduces pain.

There are different types of ice packs; they include gel ice packs which are reusable and versatile. Another type is the instant cold pack which is most suitable for emergencies but lacks versatility and is not reusable.

The clay ice pack is much like the gel type, except that it takes longer to freeze. For your homemade ice pack, you can also use frozen towels, sponges, or peas.

How to Apply Reusable Ice Pack for Back Pain?

Ice therapy can be used for acute back injuries or pain resulting from some of the conditions mentioned above. An ice pack can help relieve the pain in your back while cooling you down in a relaxed manner.

Ice your back for about fifteen to twenty minutes every one to two hours. This allows your skin to cool down and if need be, for you to refreeze your ice pack. A new ice pack should be cooled in the freezer or refrigerator for about six hours before use if you want it to be effective.

You can wrap the ice pack in a towel and lay it on your back. You can also strap the pack to your back with some tape. Always try to couple icing with rest.

Wrap the ice pack in a clean, dry towel or a warm moist one before applying it to your skin. A warm towel has more advantages in that it helps your skin adjust gradually to the low temperature rather than suddenly becoming exposed to it. Never apply ice directly to your skin because it can cause frostbite, and you may also have water dripping down your back faster than you expected.

Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid, and arthritis may cause an intolerance to cold or make ice packs cause damage that won't be noticed in time. Those with such conditions should ask their doctors whether they can use ice packs.

Do not apply ice packs for longer than twenty minutes at a time;

can be dangerous.

Some health providers recommend a combination therapy that involves alternating between ice and heat packs. This allows for the benefit of heat therapy without the problem of increased swelling because of the ice pack. For this method, you have to begin and end with the heat pack. Also, leave enough time between each application. It is important to have more than one of each pack for this combination therapy.

Hampton Adams Reusable Ice Pack

Hampton Adams reusable gel ice pack is the perfect tool for your ice therapy. It stays soft after freezing and is comfortable, versatile, and cost-effective. Purchase your reusable ice pack on our page here at Hampton Adams.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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