Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Is Heat Or Ice Good For Nerve Pain

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Shoulder Pain Can Often Be Effectively Managed With A Combination Of Heat And Ice

Shoulder injuries can be extremely painful, and the shoulder is one of the easiest parts of the body to re-injure. Shoulder damage can often benefit from heat and/or ice therapy.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder and shoulder inflammation is best treated locally with a simple ice pack.

Interestingly, a study in Korea concluded that patients suffering from adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder can benefit from whole body cryotherapy .During the acute phase of frozen shoulder, the patient suffers from night pain and spasms. There is also chronic inflammation. The long head of the biceps tendon is often characterised by both acute and chronic symptoms. Treatment should involve icing the top front of the shoulder for about 10 minutes before bed every night.


Hot and cold therapy is very effective in the treatment of arthritis. Doctors suggest treating the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis by using both heat and ice.

You should use heat before you do exercise and cold after exercise.To deal with pain and inflammation, use an ice pack for 20-30 minute intervals every 4-5 hours. Heat relaxes the muscles and reduces pain.

You should only use a heat pack for 20-30 minutes at a time. Wait at least an hour before applying the pack again, or you may cause tissue damage.

If your joints are swollen, do not apply any heat at all. If you have nerve damage, you should avoid hot and cold therapy altogether.

Calcific Tendonitis




Trigger Point Therapy







Bonus Tip: Stretch After Using Heat Therapy To Strengthen Your Lower Back

While heat therapy may help you find quick relief from your sciatica symptoms, it is best used as part of a broader treatment plan that typically includes stretching and other targeted exercises.

Read more about Sciatica Treatment

When you experience pain relief after using heat therapy, try to perform simple lower back stretches. Stretches and targeted exercises can help prevent sciatica from recurring, by relieving the sciatic nerve compression, strengthening your tissues, and improving the flexibility in your lower back.

See Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica

Use these tips today to see if the benefits of heat treatment help improve your sciatica symptoms. For long-term pain relief, add an exercise program or regular walking to your everyday routine.

Range Of Lower Back Problems That Can Benefit From Heat And Cold Therapy

Heat and /or cold therapy is beneficial either as a primary or adjunctive therapy, but people often overlook this treatment because it’s simple, inexpensive, and readily available. The following common lower back conditions may benefit from heat or cold therapy:

  • Lower back pain from common conditions, such as herniated or degenerated discs, spinal stenosis , or spondylolisthesis

    Read more about Causes of Lower Back Pain

  • Direct lower back injury from falls, sprains, sports injuries , or collisions1
  • Pulled back muscle due to excessive strain or force leading to overstretching of the muscle fibers, such as from lifting weights1

    See Pulled Back Muscle Treatment

  • Exercise-induced muscle soreness, such as a from trying a new exercise, exercising without an initial period of warming up, or overdoing a specific exercise1

Always use heat and cold therapy intermittently, for 15 to 20 minutes, with a 2-hour break in between to avoid skin and nerve damage.

Ice Your Back Immediately After Exercise To Reduce Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness and back pain can occur from extensive workouts, trying a new type of work out, or even from excessive walking. Soreness from these activities may start on the first day but typically continues to peak until the third day.4 This phenomenon is called delayed onset muscle soreness and can cause significant inflammation and pain in your back.

When you have back pain from exercise or exertion, use cold therapy immediately after the activity to reduce tissue damage, inflammation, and pain. After a 24-hour period, use heat therapy to encourage tissue healing.4

Tips To Combine Heat And Cold Therapy In Your Daily Routine

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Here are a few tips to help you incorporate the use of heat and/or cold therapy in your everyday activities:

  • Keep a heat patch near your bed—use it first thing in the morning to warm up your muscles if you wake up with an achy or stiff back
  • Apply a cold patch before bed if you have exercised or exerted your back
  • Use heat therapy before sleeping and after waking up if you have chronic back pain
  • Carry a couple of self-activating heat patches and ice packs in your bag or car to use while driving or at work

You are more likely to benefit from heat and cold therapy when you make these treatments a part of your daily routine.

When To Use Ice And When To Use Heat For Aches And Pains

No matter what your fitness level, everyone deals with aches and pains from time to time. From the rec-league warriors and high school athletes to fitness newbies, being active can come with aches, pains and sometimes injuries.

When you find yourself in pain, or groaning a little more than normal when you stand up, it can be a tough to know whether to use ice or to apply heat to get some relief. Here’s some advice on what to do the next time you find yourself feeling a twinge.

Use Cold First And Then Apply Heat For Acute Back Pain

When your back pain is acute and/or occurs due to a direct injury, use cold therapy first.2 Lowering the body temperature will help constrict the blood vessels, reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, and cause a numbing effect.1,3

See Ice Packs for Back Pain Relief

Once the inflammation has subsided, use heat therapy. When you apply heat, it improves the flexibility of soft tissues, movement of muscles, and overall functioning of the back. The local warmth stimulates blood circulation in your lower back, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the injured tissues.

It is also advised to continue using heat therapy intermittently for several hours or days in order to improve tissue healing and prevent recurrence of pain.2

Whats The Best Kind Of Heat For Peripheral Neuropathy

A lot of peripheral neuropathy suffers use foot massaging machines as a at home treatment. This is great because it combines heat with the benefits of massage. As you may already know, massage also increases blood circulation around the affected areas. So by combining heat with massage, its a match made in heaven.

There are certainly models that are better than others when it comes to neuropathy. This is also true when it comes to heat treatment. I would say the majority of massagers available on the market provide traditional heat. The heat you feel which makes you warm. This is great and all, but there is a better option available which is growing in popularity.

Ice Vs Heat For Injuries: How Do I Know Which Is Best

Home / News / Ice vs. Heat for Injuries: How Do I Know Which Is Best?

Everyone experiences pain. Whether it’s a headache, a torn ligament, a sprained ankle or sore muscles, pain is just a fact of life for many people. Pain is our body’s way of telling us when something is wrong, whether it’s a new injury, a medical condition or the result of a long day on our feet. However, pain is not something anyone needs to tolerate.

Whatever the reason for pain, one undeniable fact remains: No one wants to be in pain. And, while modern medicine has produced a lot of reliable medications that are designed to help with various levels of pain, it’s not always necessary, or appropriate, to rely solely on medication to correct the problem.

That’s where ice and heat therapies come in. Depending on the source of your pain — arthritis, a new injury or a grueling workout — ice, heat or both can go a long way toward relieving your pain and improving the overall quality of your life.

How To Apply Heat Therapy For Your Sciatica Symptoms

Marco Funiciello, DO

While it may seem logical to apply heat to the area where your sciatica feels worst—like the back of your thigh or your calf, these areas are not the source of your pain. Sciatic nerve pain originates from your rear pelvis and the lower back, and heat therapy works best when applied to this region.

Heat therapy is easily available, simple to use, and can provide immediate relief from the shooting sciatic nerve pain in your leg—read on to learn how.

When To Use Both Heat & Ice Called: Contrast Therapy

You can use ice and heat separately, or in some cases, together, which is known as contrast therapy. The key to contrast therapy is to start with heat and finish with ice. This has to do with the dilation and constriction of blood flow to the injured area.

You want to start with dilating the blood vessels with heat, followed by constriction of blood vessels with the ice. This works to create a pumping effect. which promotes healing of the area. Contrast therapy is generally used after the first 72 hours, before you start to apply heat on its’ own.

Heat Or Ice For Pinched Nerve & 7 More Ways To Help

A pinched nerve can cause irritating pain and discomfort. It is usually evident by a tingling or numbing feeling that comes and goes, getting worse over time. The condition is caused by nerve damage brought on by pressure for an extended period or trauma to the area. However, it can also occur if you have a herniated disc, arthritis and other various conditions. Luckily, there’re ways to help manage the pain and bring some relief.

Ice Vs Heat: A Users Guide To Hot And Cold Therapy

Is ice or heat better for a pinched nerve?

Did you know pain is the most common reason people seek medical treatment? That’s right. Out of all the reasons people go to the doctor, the number one is that they’re hurting. At some point in time, everyone experiences pain of one kind or another. Some experience acute pain — pain that comes on suddenly and typically doesn’t last long, like pain from an injury — and other people experience chronic pain, which is pain that continues for longer than three months.

Maybe you are even in pain right now.

If that’s the case, then you know that when you’re experiencing pain, all you can think about is finding a way to get rid of it. This is not only because it’s uncomfortable, but also because, over time, untreated pain can also lead to long-term disability, loss of work and an overall decrease in quality of life.

While some pain can be severe enough that it requires medical intervention, you can do several things at home to help with pain relief, like using ice or heat therapy. Everyone has heard of using ice and heat to treat pain. In fact, most people have used them at some point in their lifetime. And, if you have, you know that when you’re in pain, there’s no better feeling than laying on a heating pad when your lower back is throbbing or pressing an ice pack against the swelling on a twisted ankle.

Is Heat Good For Neuropathy Among Other Treatments

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Peripheral neuropathy can be a potentially deadly condition. It can lead to numbness in the feet which can lead to unexpected falls. Anyone that suffers from this condition should be seeking out as much home treatments as possible to reduce the symptoms. One of the most common at home treatments is heat. But is heat good for neuropathy, or is it just a myth to keep you buying more and more products?.

Heat treatments are use widely for a number of conditions. It’s a proven treatment in many cases. Infrared heat therapy devices have been clinically tested on patients with Neuropathy returning positive results. So with that in mind, it’s important to understand both how heat works on making the body naturally recover and excalty what neuropathy is so that we can potentially treat the condition from home.

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  • 5.2 What Has Worked For You?
  • When Your Sciatica Warrants A Visit To Your Doctor

    It’s important to recognize when at-home therapies aren’t easing your sciatica. If these treatments don’t help you, it may be time to see your personal doctor or spine specialist.

    People avoid the doctor for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re unsure about how to use your health insurance or you don’t have any. Or perhaps you simply don’t like visiting the doctor and prefer an “ignorance-is-bliss” approach.

    Whatever the reason, some sciatica symptoms truly warrant medical attention. In rare cases, delaying medical care could lead to or cause permanent nerve damage.

    If you experience any of the following, please see your doctor as soon as possible:

    • You have severe pain in your low back and legs
    • You experience nerve-related symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, tingling, or electric shock-like pain
    • Your pain doesn’t improve after 2 weeks
    • Your pain gets worse, even when using at-home therapies
    • You have loss of bowel and/or bladder control

    Easing the extreme pain of sciatica doesn’t always require an extreme treatment approach. Relieving sciatic nerve pain at home with gentle exercise, ice and heat therapy, proper posture, and medication may go along way to speed your recovery. But the most important thing you can do for your low back and leg pain is to take it seriously—always call your doctor if you aren’t experiencing relief.

    Heat Or Ice: Which Is Best For Your Pain Or Injury

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    From a soothing hot water bottle to a bag of frozen peas, many of us have turned to heat or ice at some point to help relieve pain, but do you know which therapy is best for your aches and injuries? Choosing the right one can be difficult, but choosing the wrong one can make things much worse! But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

    Louise Baillie

    Heating Pads And Cold Packs Are Two Of The Easiest

    Jim Brown, PhD

    Applying heat can relieve pain by relaxing the muscles, producing a sedative effect, and decreasing muscle tension. Ice can temporarily relieve pain almost any time.

    When it comes to chronic pain, many of us reach for heat or ice therapy, thinking one or the other will ease our symptoms. It’s easy to grab the heating pad or the ice pack, but both target symptoms, not underlying causes or long-term cures, and that can be a problem. That said, while you’re waiting to get in to see your doctor you can find temporary relief from heat or ice.

    We’ll help you understand heat or ice therapy in detail, but here’s a great starting-point hint: Use ice if pain limits your motion, and use heat if stiffness limits your motion.

    Warnings And Precautions While Using Heat Therapy

    When using heat therapy, the heat source should be warm, as tolerated, and not hot. As a general rule, heat therapy can be used for 15 to 20 minutes, with breaks in between to avoid skin damage. Overuse of heat therapy may cause burns, scalding, or ulcers. It is a smart idea to place a cloth barrier between your skin and the heat source . It is also advisable to avoid laying directly on the heat source to prevent trapping of additional heat and potentially causing skin damage or permanent changes in skin color.

    If you have specific medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, poor circulation, spinal cord injuries, diabetes mellitus, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised to avoid heat therapy. Heat in these conditions may cause excessive burns, skin ulceration, and/or increased inflammation.3

    Pain From Sciatica Can Range From Mild To Intense

    January 13, 2012

    Dear Mayo Clinic:

    I’ve had sciatica on-and-off for weeks, but for the past few days it has been so bad that I’m uncomfortable all of the time. It feels best when walking, but when I stop or sit down the pain is almost unbearable. My doctor says physical therapy is the only way to treat it. Are there no other options?

    Answer:Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the buttock and down the back of each leg. The lower lumbosacral nerve roots make up the sciatic nerve which is the longest nerve in the body.

    Although many people think of sciatica as a condition, it is actually a collection of symptoms. Most people with sciatica will experience pain more in their lower extremity than in their back. The pain will often extend below the knee and into the foot and, in many cases, it is accompanied by numbness or tingling. On occasion, patients will experience muscle weakness in the affected leg.

    For some, sciatica pain may be just a mild ache; for others, it can be quite intense. Some people experience a sharp burning sensation and may feel a jolt like an electric shock. Often, the pain intensifies when sitting for long periods. Some patients lose bladder or bowel control, a sign of cauda equina syndrome, which is rare but serious and requires immediate medical care. See your doctor immediately if your sciatica is accompanied by these symptoms.

    Is Heat Or Cold Therapy Better For Sciatica Pain

    Dr. Bhavik Sheth, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA

    Dr. Bhavik Sheth, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA

    Dr. Bhavik Sheth, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA is a physical therapist and the co-founder of the Elite Movement Initiative, a physical therapy group. He earned his D…

    EachNight may earn commissions for products you purchase through links on our site. Our articles include affiliate links and advertisements, including Amerisleep, LLC advertising. Learn more

    Sciatica is a unique type of nerve pain that begins in the lower back and extends through the lower extremities.

    People with sciatica often experience sharp low back, hip, and leg pain as well as burning sensations, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. This level of discomfort is alarming and calls for the assistance of an ice pack or warm towel, but which is actually fit to alleviate your pain?

    In this article, we will discuss whether heat therapy, cold therapy, or a combination of both is best for sciatica.

    When To Not Use Heat Or Cold For Your Lower Back

    Should You Use Ice or Heat for Pain?

    There are some conditions and situations that should not be treated with heat or cold therapy. For example:

    • These therapies must not be used on open wounds, bleeds, or when there is any fluid oozing out of the painful region.
    • If you have certain chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, poor circulation, spinal cord injuries, diabetes mellitus, and/or rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised to avoid heat therapy. Heat in these conditions may cause excessive burns, skin ulceration, and/or increased inflammation.1

    It is also advisable to avoid laying directly on the heat source due to the risk of burns, skin damage, or permanent changes in skin color. A protective barrier such as a cloth or towel may be used between your skin and the source of heat.

    In general, many people feel heat therapy works better to relieve their lower back pain compared to cold. Also, taking oral pain-relieving drugs while using these therapies may have an added effect on the overall pain relief.2

    How To Use Ice And Heat For Carpal Tunnel Relief

    Injury Guides

    Cold Therapy When to Use IceTips for Ice TherapyApply IceHot TherapyWhen to Use HeatApply HeatAlternating Hot & ColdCold vs Heat

    When used in combination with other treatment options, ice and heat for carpal tunnel syndrome can help control the pain and stiffness of the condition. Over time, this treatment can even speed recovery by increasing blood flow and loosening ligaments in the hand and wrist. Learn more about hot and cold therapy techniques in our comprehensive guides.

    Consider These Home Remedies To Provide Relief:

  • Be conscious of posture
  • The Problem: Our bodies are designed for very specific movement patterns. If you’re continuously sitting or standing with poor posture for extended periods of time, you’re putting unnecessary stress on your body, which may damage your muscles or spine, eventually leading to a pinched nerve.
  • The Solution: watch your posture. Try using cushions, neck rests, or adjustable chairs to relieve pressure and give the nerve a chance to heal. If possible, try not to remain in the same position for too long and avoid crossing your legs.
  • Ice and heat packs
  • The Problem: Pinched nerves are a result of swelling and inflammation that compress the nerve. Imagine squeezing a straw and then trying to drink from it.
  • The Solution: try alternating between heat and ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation. The combination of hot and cold increases the circulation of fresh blood to the area, which may help relieve pain. Hold an ice pack over the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time, three times a day to help reduce inflammation. Heat pads can be applied for a longer period, up to 1 hour, three times a day.
  • Lifestyle changes
  • The Problem: Being overweight or inactive can add increased stress to the body, leading to inflammation and pressure on the nerves.
  • *As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.

    How To Use Heat Or Ice For Sciatica Pain Relief


    Sometimes people will advise you to apply either heat or ice while having some painful sensations on your body. But the choice to use heat or ice therapy to reduce pains depends on the type and cause of such pains.  If you have some painful sensation on your body, it could be from sciatica. In such cases, the right application of heat or ice for sciatica can be beneficial in managing the pains.

    Sciatica is a nerve pain that may lead to sharp sensations on the lower back, hips, and legs. It occurs due to irritation and pressure on the sciatic nerves, spinal column, and discs. When there are herniation and compression on the spinal discs, it results in sciatic pains. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body. It runs from the lower back to the hips and down to the feet.

    In some cases of sciatica treatment, one may have to consider using heat or ice therapy for immediate relief. In either of the therapy, the patient’s age will definitely be a determinant factor. When treating sciatica with heat or ice therapy, it should not be for a long period. This’s because you are at risk of nerve damage when either therapy is prolonged.

    In this article, we will examine the use of both heat and ice in treating sciatica. We’ll also help you to understand and decide which of the therapy to use if you have sciatica symptoms.

    Simple Strategies To Relieve Pinched Nerve Pain

    A pinched or compressed nerve can cause incessant pain that ranges from nagging to debilitating, interfering with your work performance and quality of life. Nerves typically glide smoothly between other structures in your body, sending and receiving messages to and from the brain. Nerves can become entrapped when other structures like bones, muscles or connective tissues come in contact with them, causing painful friction and compression.

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    Heat Or Ice For Pinched Nerve Which Is Better

    There is no such a thing as which one is better. One of the most recommended treatment options for a pinched nerve is hot and cold therapy, which actually requires you alternate between heat and cold so that both the swelling and muscle tension is addressed. Cold treatment can reduce inflammation, while heat can relax your muscles. Both can provide comfort for a pinched nerve.

    Cold can be applied with an ice pack, while heat can be administered by taking a hot bath or by using a heating pad. You may have to experiment until you find the treatment best for you, but keep in mind you may need to seek medical treatment. Also, discontinue one or both if they cause you discomfort or pain.

    How to Apply

    When the area around a pinched nerve gets inflamed, it can cause your pain to get worse by compressing it even more. To promote circulation and relieve swelling, consider hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is a method that utilizes both heat and ice. First ice is applied up to four times daily to reduce swelling. At night, heat is applied for about an hour for up to five nights. Try the following:

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