We’ve all suffered from back pain at some point. For many people, chronic back pain is a constant part of their lives, and can often be crippling. Getting rid of the pain can be a long and arduous process, and some people even find it hard to make a full recovery. One of the most effective ways of relieving muscle pain is heat therapy – a technique which has been around for a very long time.
The human back is a very complex part of the body – it consists of 33 vertebrae, 77 muscles and a multitude of ligaments, joints and discs – and a single mishap is often enough to ignite excruciating pain.
Most cases of back pain are a result of over-exertions and strains which create tension in the soft tissues and muscles in the back. This restricts blood flow, which forces the affected area to send pain signals. The magnitude of muscle pain can range from slight discomfort to debilitating agony, depending on the extent of the problem. Heating therapy provides pain relief by releasing tightness in the muscles.
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Application of a heat pack will stimulate sensory receptors in your skin, which decreases the flow of pain signals to the brain. The pain relief is almost instantaneous, which is also why heating therapy is so highly regarded. While the pain relief may not be complete, you will experience considerable reduction in your discomfort.
Dilates Blood Vessels
Heating therapy dilates blood vessels in the muscles of the affected region. This causes more oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to flow into the muscle. Improved blood flow also removes carbon dioxide and other metabolic waster, which helps heal damage tissue. However, the application of heat should be avoided if you have a bleeding disorder or an acute injury because an increase in vascular supply could do more harm than good.
Makes You Feel Comfortable
The application of heat stretches the tissue in your spine (which includes both connective tissue and muscles) and makes them more flexible. The decrease in stiffness, which is a direct result of heating therapy, relieves back pain and makes you feel more comfortable. For a healthy back, flexibility is very important.
Heating therapy can be used for a number of issues which cause back pain such as fibromyalgia (extreme muscle pain which is often crippling), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), herniated discs, muscle sprain, osteoporosis, arthritis, spondylitis, etc. Even if it’s a chronic condition, heating therapy can provide considerable relief from muscle pain in the short term.
One of the biggest advantages of heating therapy is that it is relatively inexpensive (even free in some cases) and easy to use. You can use a portable heat pack on your back when you are home relaxing, driving, etc. to get relief from muscle pain.
Heating therapy is a very appealing method of achieving pain relief because it is non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical. Many people are able to lower their back pain by combining the application of heat with other techniques like exercise and physical therapy.