Back Pain

Can applying heat or cold help lower back pain?

A Answers (3)

  • A , Family Medicine, answered
    With an acute injury, cold is good. You want to decrease inflammation. But by the time I see the patient, we’re a week out. So I recommend heat. For people with chronic pain, I recommend alternating between hot and cold. The benefit is almost a way to confuse the nerves a little bit, so we’re distracted from pain. 
  • A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Epidural Injections and Lower Back Pain
    Applying hot and cold compresses can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with lower back pain and make it easier to move and change position. Watch the video for more on use of heat and cold to help lower back pain.

  • A , Physical Therapy, answered
    Can applying heat or cold help lower back pain?

    When your back hurts, it can be hard to figure out whether to use cold or heat for relief. In this video, physical therapist Peggy Brill gives her recommendation.

This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Is heat better than cold for lower back pain?