Cold water immersion is responsible for a plethora of medical benefits. The use of cold therapy is proven to work wonders in repairing tissue damage, fighting inflammation, and treating muscle soreness.
Think about how you use an ice pack, which could be a bag of frozen vegetables, to reduce inflammation and pain. This practical information backs up the scientific research that claims ice baths have several health benefits.
Despite all of this evidence and fundamental truths, you might still wonder if cold therapy can help with chronic back pain or reduce sporadic inflammation and soreness. Find out more about how cold therapy can reduce pain in your lower, mid, and upper back.
CAN ICE BATHS WORK FOR BACK PAIN?
Using cold packs is the traditional way of dealing with chronic pain triggered by extensive strain or other medical conditions. Applying ice packs on the affected muscles can reduce swelling from muscle tissues causing low back pain. However, ice cubes can only cover so much surface area.
Comprehensive cold therapies like an ice bath can provide holistic benefits for you. Your blood vessels get constricted by dropping the core body temperature by a few degrees. After the ice bath, healthier blood flows to the tissues, reducing any muscle spasm reactions caused by acute back pain.
Cold baths are more effective when implemented with heat therapy since the constriction and dilation process in blood vessels gets amplified. These procedures increase blood flow and circulate nutrients and oxygen to all muscle tissue.
These physiological reactions make cold water one of the best ways to treat chronic back pain and delayed onset muscle soreness from the lumbar regions.
WHAT MAKES ICE BATHS AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR BACK PAIN?
The secret behind the efficacy of ice baths is the physiological reaction triggered by this cold therapy. When the body gets exposed to cold water, thermogenesis occurs to try and heat the body. There is a direct correlation between this physiological response and acute low back pain management.
Hormonal releases triggered by thermogenesis have proven to create a sympathetic nerve effect on sore muscles surrounding where brown adipose tissue is. Also, exposure to cold temperatures heals tissues, which can reduce muscle soreness.
In addition to its effect on neurotransmitter releases and deep tissue healing, cold therapy regulates blood flow. If you are suffering from inflamed muscles, most likely, the pain gets caused by blood flowing more to the affected area.
That is a protective response the body has after suffering from physical trauma or contracting an infection. You can manage blood flow to the affected area by using both heat therapy and cold temperature treatment. Sports injuries can cause inflammation in back muscles. That is why athletes take a cold dip to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
Unlike the sole use of heat therapy, taking a cold plunge regulates high blood pressure levels that get elevated during workouts or intense physical labour. Depending on the intensity of physical activity, back spasms could ensue and cause lower back pain.
The best way to disperse this is by taking an ice bath treatment. Any lower back pain caused by muscle spasms can get reduced to minimize any intensive physical engagement side effects.
HELPS WITH MUSCLE SORENESS
You can suffer from muscle soreness due to the heat generated by tissues during intensive physical labour or workouts. This heat causes a burning sensation in the muscles causing discomfort and pain.
That is pretty normal, but it can lead to some side effects limiting motor movement due to a sore back. To reduce the burning sensation causing pain in your muscles, take an ice bath post-workout or after a hard day at work. The cooling effect of ice baths reduces burning heat sensations experienced by the muscles.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU ICE BATH FOR TO TREAT BACK PAIN?
An ice bath is more of a tolerance game than anything else. However, each session must be timed and closely monitored to prevent adverse side effects, especially for beginners. If it is your first time going for a cold bath, try aiming for five minutes at first.
From then, you can work up your tolerance to more extended periods reaching up to ten to fifteen minutes of 10 to 15 degree water.
If you’re doing contrast hydrotherapy, the timeframes could be shorter since you can change in-between the hot and cold temperatures. To increase body heat, you might have to cut the cold bath shorter to compensate for warmer temperatures.
ICE BATHS FOR BACK PAIN: WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?
Much research has been invested in finding the scientific reasoning behind ice bathing’s effects on pain. However, some studies focused more on specific conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and others studied general sensory stimulation reactions.
The results concurred with wellness specialists’ claims that cold therapy is an efficient way of managing several ailments, including conditions that affect back locomotive potential.
ICE BATHS FOR BACK PAIN: IS IT THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR YOU?
Is ice bathing the proper treatment for you? Ice bathing might be the best solution if you suffer from discomfort in your lumbar regions due to intensive physical engagement. It is non-invasive and does not use any drugs.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about side effects triggered by other invasive treatments or the effects of drugs on cognitive function.
Before taking that cold plunge, you might have a few questions in your mind about cold therapy. Here is a concise FAQ list to answer any questions you might have for us.
HOW COLD SHOULD THE ICE BATH BE?
First and foremost, you might be wondering how cold the bath should be. The short answer to that is your bath should be uncomfortable to be in at first. This should range between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
SHOULD I STRETCH AFTER AN ICE BATH?
It is advisable to stretch a bit after an intense workout session, but you might sometimes forget and hop right into the cold bath. So, should you stretch after this cold water immersion therapy? Yes, it would be best if you stretched but only once your body temperature has reached normal heat levels.
ARE ICE BATHS HEALTHY?
Countless health benefits are associated with ice bathing. The extreme cold helps circulate healthy blood throughout the body and boosts cognitive performance. This treatment also boosts general immune system function, helping with combating infections easier.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DO AN ICE BATH?
Ice bathing frequency should depend on a routine you have set out for yourself. For example, you might aim to go for a session daily while you’re still getting started or only a few times a week. The daily schedule is best when you follow it for two weeks, and after that, sessions can be more spaced out. You might like it so much that you commit to it daily. Not only is an ice bath beneficial for your muscles but you’ll find it makes you feel great!
The effects of cold therapies are proven and backed by scientific research. The way a body reacts when exposed to cold temperatures is beneficial for managing several ailments that could be affecting your back.
Visit TH7 BodyLabs to tour the facilities and try this treatment out. The advantages of cold therapy are endless, and your pain relief lies behind taking that cold plunge.