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A Hot Way to Ease Back Pain

If you’ve ever had low back pain, you know that your healthcare professional may try several different procedures to make you feel better.

While some practitionres may simply adjust your back, others may offer a variety of treatments ranging from heat to certain exercise routines.

A recent study compared the effectiveness of these other treatments, and found that a combination of heat and exercise worked better than either therapy by itself.

Scientists examined 100 people with acute low back pain and randomized them into one of four groups.

The first group wore a disposable low-level heat wrap eight hours per day for five consecutive days; the second group performed a series of flexion and extension exercises at various times for five days; the third group used a combination of exercise and heat wraps; and the final group received an educational booklet.

At baseline and other intervals, the patients were examined to determine their functional ability, along with the intensity of their low back pain and any relief the therapies offered.

By the time the study concluded, patients who received the combination of heat and exercise showed significant improvements in function, disability and pain relief compared to the other groups.

In some instances, the improvements were up to 175 percent greater; no adverse effects were reported among patients using the heat-exercise combination.

Dr. Hooper’s Comment:

Continuous Low level heat appears to trial very well for chronic back pain. That is the application of a continuous heat pack or patch throughout the day gives very good relief of pain.

We have really good (& cheap) heat patches available witihin the clinic or online. The heat patches adhere to the skin or under-clothing.

They are unobtrusive and last in excess of 12 to 14 hours. Our patient feedback on the heat patches have been really good. Worthwhile considering, particularly in the cold winter months.

 

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If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.

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