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Can applying heat or cold help lower back pain?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

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.

Michael Parsons, FNP
Family Practitioner

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.

Peggy Brill
Physical Therapy Specialist

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.

Sara Wilson, FNP
Nursing Specialist

Heat and cold can help lower back pain, says Sara Wilson, NP, from West Valley Spine Center. Watch this video and see what order she recommends heating and icing your back and why.

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Important: 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.