So you have a back injury. What’s next? How do you effectively treat the pain you are experiencing? If you are suffering from an acute injury, meaning an injury to the ligaments or muscles in the back, such as a sprain or strain, then you will want to use ice to treat your pain effectively. How exactly does ice help, though?
Ice Works to Relieve Pain and Reduce Inflammation
Ice effectively treats acute back pain because it narrows the blood vessel lumen (space inside), limiting blood flow to your soft tissues. According to Very Well Health, “The control of blood flow helps in pain control by reducing the flow of irritating chemicals that can flood the injury site. While these chemicals are a natural and useful response to inflammation, keeping them in check helps control pain.” Additionally, reduced blood flow helps control excessive swelling.
How to Properly Ice an Injury
For the first 48-72 hours after an injury, people often use ice as well as anti-inflammatory medicine. If you are using an ice pack, frozen towel, or even a bag of frozen vegetables, be sure to place a cloth between your skin and the ice source to prevent ice burn. Ice should be applied for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but it can be safely applied up to 10 times in a 24-hour period.
R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. According to UPMC Health Beat, following a strain, sprain, or another similar injury, you should take these steps to help you more quickly recover and get back to your everyday activities.
- Rest– Experts recommend immediately resting the affecting area as much as possible, including 24-48 hours of no weight-bearing activities.
- Ice– As mentioned above, reduce pain and swelling during the first 48 hours by icing the area 20 minutes at a time every 4 hours.
- Compression– Wrapping the area with an elastic medical bandage will help decrease swelling.
- Elevation– Raise the injured body part so that gravity can move fluids away from the injured area.
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Is Here for You
Always keep in mind that too much of anything is never a good thing. This holds true for ice therapy if you are suffering from back or other pain. Use this treatment for your pain in moderation, and we encourage you to give us a visit and allow us to help you find relief and optimal health. Contact us today at (631) 215-3825 or fill out our contact form.