For millions of people, a day does not go by without back pain. Natural relief alternatives may seem like the second best option, but are they really? Moist heat therapy in particular has been one long-standing alternative for back pain relief.
Countless studies have been conducted, and most have found that applying heat in the early stages of an occurrence of back pain provides short-term relief through increased mobility and a reduction of pain achieved by dilating blood vessels and relaxing stiffness. Moist heat in particular is recommended as it penetrated more deeply into the muscles than dry heat. One popular study showed that compared to oral placebos and other remedies, moist heat therapy significantly reduced pain after five days of treatment. Additionally, nearly three-fourths of individuals who used heat therapy and light exercise were able to return to pre-injury function.
Many sufferers of back pain also turn to bed rest. However, after the first 48 hours, bed rest has actually been shown to weaken muscles and increase the risk of blood clots. Also, while some doctors swear by ice therapy, there is less evidence of its effectives. Overall, combining heat and cold seems to be the best approach.
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