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Ice Massage For Back Pain

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By Caroline Colby

You've hurt your back before and have sworn that you will be more careful. However, unknowingly, you've just hurt your back again. Maybe this points to a chronic problem; and maybe, not. However, you should not hesitate to do something about your back pain.

Back injuries, and so pain, are often caused by muscle strains. Lifting an object that is too heavy or lifted wrong can cause strained muscles. They can also occur during athlete competitions, a fall or simply a sneeze that caused a sudden awkward movement. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind one alternative treatment is ice massage.

Ice not only helps lessen the pain of a back injury but it also reduces the blood flow. This helps to lessen the swelling and potentially minimize any internal bruising. The goal of ice therapy is quite simply to promote healing of the injured area. However, ice massage for back pain must be used instantly once the pain begins.

There are many different forms the ice may take. You can pour a bunch of ice cubes into a towel and after folding it so that they donít fall out use that. Or you can use store prepared cold packs. These are very useful land can be kept in the freezer so they are available to use whenever you need them. With these you want to be careful that they donít split and leak the gel inside them, as this can be harmful to the skin. If you have neither of these options available to you, use a package of frozen vegetables; the best would be corn or peas, as the smaller vegetables will allow the package to more easily mold to the area.

Another useful idea to make ice massage easier is to take a paper cup, made from heavier material like Styrofoam. Fill the cup with water and freeze it. Then you peel the Styrofoam back enough to expose the ice and use it to massage the area. If you have recurring back pain, then maintain a constant supply of these cups in the freezer.

Ice massage is most effective if used over a period of time. Some professionals suggest limiting it to five to seven minutes while others allow from ten to twenty minutes. But all agree that if the area becomes numb, then you have to stop the treatment.

The area is gently massaged with whatever from of ice pack youíve chosen in a circular motion. Make sure that areas where the bone is nearer the skin are avoided. This includes the spine when dealing solely with back pain, but would also take in the knees, elbows and shoulders. At first the massaged area will begin to feel cold. Donít be surprised that when it starts to hurt. Your skin will turn a pinkish color before it becomes numb. Stop at this point in time. If you wish, you can repeat the ice massage several times throughout the day. However, for your next session, ensure that your back has already warmed up and become room temperature again.

Ice massage for back pain is an effective and safe method that you can easily do from your home. there are many specialized packs that you can buy. These often come in leak proof containers, which can be thrown into a gym bag, as they can remain frozen for eight to ten hours. Some are even weighted to increase the feeling of pressure during massage. These are easily available but often costly. Still, certain precautions are to be taken. Try not to leave the cold pack directly on the skin. It is preferable that you wrap the cold pack in a wet cloth even while using it. You should also stop the ice massage once the skin in the affected area begins to feel numb. Also if the treatment does not begin to show significant results after seventy-two hours, you should consult your healthcare provider.

About The Author: Caroline Colby writes on massage therapy, shiatsu massage, massage techniques, massage chairs, massage equipment and massage spas around the world. She also has step-by-step recipes for massage oils that you can easily prepare. Please visit her site at www.massage-therapy-central.com.