Sometimes it's just the simple, tried, and true therapies that help relieve pain the most.
Recently we asked our Facebook community (see below) what type of simple remedies they preferred to soothe their back pain. Over 100 people chimed in, and overwhelmingly, they recommended using heat therapy.
Watch: Video: How to Make a Moist Heat Pack
Granted, this was no scientific study, but there's no harm in learning from other people and trying this safe and convenient form of pain relief.
How does heat work to reduce pain?
Heat increases blood flow to the painful site, which brings increased nutrients to help heal the injury, and it facilitates stretching sore muscles.
According to a study done by Dr. Brian King1, heat may also work on a physiological level to decrease pain receptors. Dr. King found that when heat higher than 104 degrees is placed on the skin near the site of internal pain, it switches on heat receptors, which in turn block the pain receptors.
Read more about Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain
How to use heat?
Heating packs and low level heat wraps work extremely well. They are soothing, easy to do, and don't have any negative side effect.
Other simple remedies
People responding to our Facebook question had a few other very simple, very effective remedies for their back pain like lying on a hard surface for an hour, doing specific stretches, or sleeping in certain positions - all of which we will explore in future blogs.
- Dr. Brian King presented his findings at the July 5, 2006 meeting of the Physiological Society.