Cold Therapy Pain Management

Ice as Pain Relief: More Effective Than You Think

Video Synopsis

Ice is a common tool for reducing pain, and one that is quick, easy, and affordable. There are many kinds of cold packs out there to choose from, and you may find that you prefer one over others. In the video above, you'll learn:

  • When ice is an appropriate pain relief remedy and reasons for using ice
  • Different types of ice packs and cold packs
  • How to make homemade ice packs, gel packs
  • How to make an ice massage applicator
  • How to use ice massage therapy for back pain
  • Important precautions when using ice as pain relief
  • Why/when ice is not the most appropriate pain relief remedy

Fast Facts About Ice for Pain Relief

It's best to apply cold therapy to your lower back in the first 24 to 72 hours following a lower back injury.

Apply cold therapy for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You can apply cold therapy 8 to 10 times per 24 hour period.

Never apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, be sure that there is a protective barrier between the ice and skin, such as a towel.

For best results, focus ice therapy on the six-inch area around where your pain is felt.

More on Ice Therapy from Spine-health

How to Use Ice to Treat Your Lower Back Pain

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. How to Use Ice to Treat Your Lower Back Pain

Ice Packs for Back Pain Relief

Simple application of a cold pack or ice placed in a plastic bag and wrapped in a towel or other protective barrier (to protect the skin from ice burn) is one of the most effective pain relief treatments available. Ice Packs for Back Pain Relief

How to Use Ice Massage Therapy for Back Pain

To do ice massage therapy, a regular ice cube may be used, but it's better to use a larger piece of ice. One easy way to do this is to freeze water in a paper or Styrofoam cup, then peel the top inch or two of the cup. How to Use Ice Massage Therapy for Back Pain

How to Use Ice to Cool Down Sciatica Symptoms

It seems like every day a new medical treatment is announced. With this flurry of innovation, simple treatments can sometimes be overlooked. So when sciatica symptoms flare-up, don't forget about a simple, effective option-cold therapy. How to Use Ice to Cool Down Your Sciatica Symptoms

When is Ice an Effective Treatment Option?

Many conditions and pain symptoms can be relieved with cold therapy. However, there are conditions where ice is not appropriate. The checklist below outlines when to use/not use ice. This list is not all-inclusive, and it's best to talk with your doctor before starting any pain management regiment.

Appropriate for Ice Therapy

  • Muscle strain
  • Acute injuries
  • Pulled back muscle injuries
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Gout flareups
  • Pseudogout symptoms

Not Appropriate for Ice Therapy

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Raynaud's Syndrome
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Cold allergic conditions
  • Paralysis or areas of impaired sensation