Living With Back Pain

Take Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Back pain is a very unpleasant physical condition and can disrupt the daily lifestyle significantly. However, therapies such as heat therapy can help relieve the pain naturally and preserve your back health.

The chief cause of back pain is stress or over exertion which creates tension points in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spinal chord. This condition restricts proper blood flow and in turn sends pain signals to the brain. The pain may vary from being mild to excruciating. However, both can be remedied with the appropriate use of heat therapy.

How Does Heat Therapy Work

* Heat therapy can help dilate the blood vessels of muscles surrounding the spine. The process helps increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscle thereby healing the damaged tissues.
* The sensory receptors present in the skin also get stimulated and help in transmission of pain signals to the brain. This works to partially remove the overall discomfort.
* The application of heat also helps facilitate the soft tissues which surround the spine which include the adhesions, muscles as well as the connective tissues. Any stiffness or injury is remedied by heat therapy. An increase in flexibility - important for a healthy back and comfort is also noted.

Benefits of heat therapy
Heat therapy has several advantages including that of being wholly inexpensive and even free. A hot bath would help soothe all the discomfort associated with back pain comprehensively. The therapy can also be conveniently concluded inside the house or with the help of a portable heat wrap while driving.

How to apply heat therapy
For starters, the temperature should not be too high and the heat should have more warmth as opposed to scorching traits. This will help the heat penetrate down into the muscles more effectively. Too much of heat would do very little to relieve the discomfort.

The longer the heat is applied for, the more are the chances of a fast recovery. The duration however, is decided by the type or magnitude of the back pain. Very minor back tensions only merit short periods of heat therapy of about 15-20 minutes. Severe injuries require heat therapies which can continue for anything between half an hour to two hours.

Different ways to apply heat to the back

* Hot water bottle are effective as they are; they tend to stay warm for 20-30 minutes.
* Electric heating pads maintain a constant degree of heat for as long as they are plugged in to a power source.
* Heated gel packs stay warm for about half an hour and also provide moist heat- preferred by some patients.
* Heat wraps can be worn against the skin under the clothing and they provide convenient low level heat to the body.

Other sources of heat therapy include hot baths, sauna, hot tubs and steam baths which stimulate feelings of comfort and relaxation which help reduce muscle spasm.

Given it's simplicity, heat therapy may not come commonly recommended by doctors but it is in fact a highly comprehensive method to relieve back pain.