back-pain-heat-therapyBack pains and aches are common to a number of people. The cause of these can be acute or sub-acute. Acute causes of back pain would be fall, injury or muscle pull because of an accident. It leads to sudden stress on the muscle which puts too much pressure on the back and sends it into spasm.

Sub-acute injury is the gradual increase of muscle tension, spasm or pain over time because of discomfort, bad posture, unhealthy exercise technique etc. sub-acute consequences also include flare up of chronic conditions that a patient might have. In both cases, the discomfort may be almost impossible to cope with and treatment needs to be given at the earliest to prevent permanent damage.

The reason back pain should be given treatment at the earliest is because back pain is a vicious cycle. A pain or spasm cycle may encourage the body to try and make it better, but it actually continues to worsen the situation. In such conditions it becomes important to provide treatment which would put a break in the cycle because that is the only way a patient would enjoy relief.

How body reacts:

When there is pain in the body and the back muscle goes into spasm, the nerves send a signal to the brain. This signal substantially reduces the flow of red blood cells to the affected area and increases the supply of white blood cells. This is the body’s reaction to any kind of injury. However, through this process the problem is that the muscle is not given appropriate amount of blood and nutrients. Also the reduced supply of blood reduces the wastes that need to be taken away from the muscles. As a result of which the pain increases in the muscle because of lack of oxygen and nutrients, the increase pain triggers another round of white blood cells to flow to the area and reduce blood supply further. Any treatment given for back pain is designed to reduce this cycle and put it back in order.

Both hot and cold treatments are meant to shock the body and stop the cycle of pain spams to allow the muscle to relax by giving in increase blood circulation while also reducing the pain sensors in the area. Both treatments work in similar ways and reduce the stress an area is experiencing.

How to treat your Back Pain:

When a person applies hot treatment to an affected area, it relaxes the nerves that are sending the brain the signal about pain. This reduces the constant supply of white blood cells being accumulated in the area and allows reduction in swelling. Further, swelling is reduced because blood from other parts of the body is pushed to the area to regulate the sudden increase in temperature and bring it back down to normal. This automatically supplies the muscle with all important oxygen and nutrients and clears away wastes quickly from the area, allowing the muscle to relax and recover from the injury.

When a person applies cold treatment to an affected area, it numbs the nerves that send a signal regarding pain to the brain. This stop in the signal automatically reduces the supply of white blood cells. Also, since the body has been shocked and made too cold, blood rushed to the area to increase the temperature, thus increasing the blood being supplied to the muscle. The muscle is then allowed to relax and get cleansed through this increase in supply.

While there are a number of researches which have suggested one treatment over the other, it has been widely argued over and over again. The approach being adopted today involves a combination of the two treatments to give the body, best of both benefits. It has been suggested that cold treatment should be given to the area first, as soon as an injury takes place or the flare up of a chronic condition is felt. This immediate treatment would prevent the body from entering into a cycle and shock the body, reducing the pain stimulant being sent to the brain. This reduces the immediate swelling which had started and allows the muscle to stretch again.

It is suggested that the second phase of treatment should include hot treatment. This not only benefits by breaking the cycle, but also taps the natural ability of heat to heal the body and make it easier for a person to cope with discomfort.

The reaction of every person to particular treatment may be different thus it is important that you should try both treatments individually and then the two in combination with one another to decide the one which would give you maximum comfort and benefits. The principle remains the same, to shock the body and stop the spasm.

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