Ultimate Bad Back Strategies: The Bad Back Guy Discusses Heat vs Ice for Neck Pain, Back Pain and/or Sciatica

by coachz on April 6, 2009

Welcome Back to Ultimate Bad Back Strategies!

I am constantly amazed by the number of people, even medical practitioners, still advising and using heat! Where have they been over the last decade…Mars?

I have suffered from neck pain, back pain, and sciatica for 30 years now. It has only been in the last few months that I have achieved anything close to complete and lasting pain relief! For years I struggled with operation after operation until I’d lost all hope of ever waking up in the morning without some sort of neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica.

By the end of most days?

Well, if we could have put a cherry picker, one of those machines they use to lift engines out of the engine compartment, in the living room to get me up out of the recliner and into bed, we would have had the super deluxe model! Needless to say, I was in bad shape just before the dawn. Having overcome an advanced case of osteomyelitis, with a myriad of associated health consequences, I was still in very bad shape a year ago now. In fact, they really weren’t too sure I was going to make it. I was in dire straits and in more pain than any human being should ever have to endure. If you have ever had spine surgery? Imagine the pain when you first woke up in the recovery room and multiply it exponentially! I am not being melodramatic, I’m attempting to give you a real sense of the incredible pain I was in 24/7. I was depressed, addicted, and without hope. In other words, I was at the end of my rope…literally and figuratively! And, as time goes on, I will share a bit more of that story. However, for now I want to talk about something that helped me in a way few other bad back strategies have:


That’s right! Ice! Many medical practitioners have come to understand that ice, not heat, is the proper response in 95% of all instances of neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica. You see, when you are experiencing neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica, in fact any kind of pain, acute or chronic, it is usually due to inflammation or swelling. The inflammation and/or swelling may be affecting many areas or it may be limited to one specific area. Pain may have a single cause or it may be the result of a myriad of factors working in concert. For example, a herniated disc may cause nerve impingement, the nerve impingement causes inflammation, the inflammation causes swelling, the swelling causes muscle spasms, and the muscles spasms, as anyone who has had back pain can tell you, can be extremely painful. Trace the pain back and it may be possible to interrupt the pain continuum, the back pain complex, at any point along the continuum of cascading reactions leading to the ultimate expression of pain, and in this case neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica.

But they’ve been using heat for years!

Exactly, and it doesn’t work! You see, when you use heat, you allow increased blood flow, leading to increased swelling, which leads to increased pain levels. Instead of interrupting the continuum, by introducing heat you actually enhance the ultimate expression and contribute to more inflammation, swelling, muscle cramps and spasms, and ultimately, pain. While the use of heat may be psychologically soothing, allowing for a temporary feeling of relief, as a long term, efficient and effective back pain complex strategy, it is ineffective and may actually exacerbate the problem. Unless the pain is psychosomatic or psychogenic in origin, by using heat you may be making the problem worse, the reaction of the body may be an intense re-action, intensifying the pain instead of allowing for much needed relief.

Ultimately, the decision to use heat or ice is a personal one. However, if you want real and lasting relief, relief that will allow you to function all day and sleep at night, ice is the best neck pain, back pain, and sciatica treatment strategy. For relief in minutes, place an ice compress, either a brace or a plastic bag wrapped in a thin towel over the affected area and keep it in place for at least 30 minutes. Once removed, allow 30 minutes and then repeat making sure that with each application you are exposing the entire area to ice, as well as an area on all sides wide enough to ensure adequate coverage. By making sure you cover the entire area, and a significant portion of the non-affected area, you will achieve optimal results. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen asleep with my brace still on, the relief can be that quick and complete. So, as a bad back strategy, heat should be avoided in almost every case. Ice is the best strategy for quick and complete relief from neck pain, back pain, and sciatica.

These are some of the programs I recommend. I hope they help you as much as they helped me!

1) http://www.TheBackPainGuy.info

2) http://www.HowToStopSciatica.com

3) http://www.HowToStopSciatica.info

Good luck and let me know what you think! Any products on the side panel are super for back problems!

1) Get an ice-compression brace for the times when nothing else works for the pain…it will! I know, see the article and video above!

2) New Balance running shoes, they have awesome heel cushioning that makes such a difference when pain makes you count your steps all day long, just to make it through the day. I too know what it’s like to have to plan your steps all day long, just to make it through the day!

3) WalkFit Orthotics for the days when you can’t wear your New Balance but need cushioning and support. These really help!

4) Bone & Joint Natural Pain Reliever. They really helped me when nothing else did! I was amazed because I have never bought into the whole natural thing…but they work. They build up in your system and then, all of the sudden, you realize the pain isn’t as bad as it once was!

5) And others on the side panel, all good and all safe! All of the products are top-notch and help! The canes, walkers, and scooters, and I’ve used all of them at one time or another, are from the best suppliers I could find, and I did my research!

See these blogs and lenses too:



Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., The Bad Back Guy
Skype: johnzajaros1

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Zajaros

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