Commonly used sources of heat: People use various products for heat application to the painful area. The best thing about heat therapy is it’s not complex, and you can use inexpensive items as instruments. The only important thing to remember while choosing such an article is to ensure that the skin remains safe from burning. Remember, if you can’t hold something, then you should not apply that to the skin. The conventional sources are – heating pads, gel packs, hot towels, water bottle, hot bath, etc. However, if the heat is not applied correctly, then the pain and or stiffness will remain after the session. You can also consult with your physician or physical therapist regarding which one to use.
How to safely use the device: Although the methods used to apply heat are inexpensive, they do require some precautions while being used. Here are a few tips that you should follow for safely applying heat to your back. These will help you to achieve relief from pain at a faster rate without causing any damage to your body.
- A) Twenty-minute rule – The duration of your heat application should never exceed the time limit of twenty minutes at a stretch. There is a sound logic behind this rule. It may cause stiffness in other areas of your body. Applying heat for more than twenty minutes on a site may also cause skin damage of that particular area.
- B) If there is swelling, then use cold – Back pain is usually a chronic type of ailment. However, that does not mean that it can’t be an acute one. In most acute pain, there is a swelling in the affected area. If you are suffering from such a pain, then you must apply cold first to reduce the swelling. If you directly apply heat, the swelling will only increase. Like heat application, you should not apply cold for more than twenty minutes.
- C) Lying down on a heat source is a big NO: Applying heat usually reliefs pain. Pain relief often leads to the suffer to fall asleep while using heat. If you fall asleep while lying down on a heat source, your skin will get severely burned. So while applying heat, always remember to lie on your side or stomach.
- D) Special conditions: There are a few unique disease conditions where using heat will cause more harm than good. These conditions are poor circulation, diabetes, open wounds, infection to the back, discharging sinuses in the affected area, etc. If you are suffering from any such conditions, you must consult with your physicians before taking heat therapy.
Most lower back problems are usually treated via non-surgical treatments. Only causes regarding the spine may require such invasive procedures. However, it is always advisable to treat low back pain as soon as possible. If it remains untreated, the pain may get worse as the time goes one. Heat therapy is an excellent way to provide relief from low back pain. But the user needs to use them with caution.