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How do ice and heat treat neck and back pain?

Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine
For mild to moderate neck and back pain, ice and heat both provide temporary relief of symptoms. They act as counterirritants that block the transmission of pain impulses by overloading the sensory nerves with either cold or hot sensations. In the first twenty-four hours of an acute injury, sprain, or strain, ice is preferred because it also has anti-inflammatory properties. The cold actually causes small blood vessels to narrow, and that limits the amount of swelling and irritation. In the absence of acute swelling or recent trauma, heat is preferred; it causes small blood vessels to increase in size and tight muscles to relax. This helps remove waste products from the muscle and increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients in healing tissues.
Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

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Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

Many of us complain about our 'bad back,' but this book argues that our backs are, without exception, amazing examples of bioengineering, capable of dramatic feats of strength, flexibility, and...

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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.