The majority of cases of lower back pain are caused by muscle strain. And while a muscle strain may seem like a simple injury, you likely have first-hand experience in regards to the intense pain it can produce.
Thankfully, a quick ice massage can provide significant relief from your injury in a short amount of time. Interested? Here is how to do it:
How can an ice massage relieve your pain?
Before we talk about how to apply an ice massage, let's quickly look at the ways in which an ice massage can relieve your lower back pain.
This list is not exhaustive, but an ice massage may be able to provide the following benefits for people suffering from muscle strain:
- Reduce your inflammation and swelling
- Numb your sore tissues
- Inhibit your nerve impulses
- Loosen your tight lower back muscles
Ice massage therapy can be used in isolation, but it is typically combined with other treatments like pain medications.
How to apply an ice massage
There are only three things you need for an ice massage: a paper cup, water, and an arm. Begin by freezing the water in a paper cup, and then you can peel away the top inch to expose the ice.
After the top inch is peeled away, you can follow these simple steps:
- Lie on your side, and place a pillow under your head for comfort.
- With gentle force, rub the frozen cup in a circular motion around the location of your pain. Focus on one six-inch area at a time.
- Do your best to avoid applying the ice massage to your spinal column.
- Do not apply the massage for longer than 5 minutes. Any longer than this and you run the risk of ice burns.
The goal of an ice massage is to numb the area around where your pain is located. And while you can't exceed a 5-minute massage, you can repeat the massage process 2-5 times a day, as needed.
As a final note, an ice massage for your lower back is most effective if you apply is as quickly as possible after your injury occurs. And if an ice massage isn't for you, you can try simpler options like a bag of ice wrapped in a towel.