Heat for Lower Back Pain

80% of the population has or will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Have you ever wondered whether heat or ice will make your back soreness feel better? 

Ice has been shown to reduce inflammation in the initial stages of an acute muscle strain or joint sprain. However, beyond this initial inflammatory phase, most cases of low back pain respond best to heat therapy as it assists with recovery by increasing blood flow, reducing muscle spasms and decreasing pain. Many of us will often use a wheat bag or gel pack to supply the heat on our sore backs, however recent guidelines have outlined that the gold standard of heat therapy is actually through the use of heat wraps/patches.

The reason why the guidelines recommend using heat wraps rather than a heat bag is because the heat wrap enables you to remain active whilst it supplies continuous heat throughout the day. Remaining active is one of the most important strategies when managing lower back pain, therefore integrating superficial heat with gentle activity combines two of the most effective non-pharmacological strategies at the same time.

Products such as FlexEze can be purchased over the counter, are easy to use and provide low-level heat supply for up to 12 hrs. The comfort of these heat wraps enables you to carry on with your daily tasks and continue to move.

Additionally, when we are required to stop and stay still at times throughout the day, such as during travel or working in the office, the heat wraps will continue to promote local blood flow and provide soothing relief for pain and stiffness that can often occur with long periods of sitting.

You can see why our Osteopath’s at Blackburn Allied Health Group highly recommend this type of product as an adjunct to manual therapy and exercise for lower back pain. Please make an appointment with one of our Osteopath’s to be assessed and diagnosed so we can recommend the most effective interventions for you.

Dr Thomas Jacotine – Osteopath

Blackburn Allied Health Group.

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