Ice Or Heat For Pain Relief in St. Charles IL

Ice Or Heat For Pain Relief in St. Charles IL

Ice Or Heat For Pain Relief in St. Charles IL

Did you wake up with neck and shoulder pain, or did your back just go out on you? Should you Ice or Heat for pain relief? That is the question.

All my new patients in pain at our clinic in St. Charles IL ask me if they should ice or heat their injury.

The simple answer is always start with ice. Yes, even if you have back pain and "spasm", please ICE IT first.

Common knowledge is not always correct

Everybody knows, and your doctor said, your pain is due to muscle spasm. My apologies, the primary cause of your pain are the underlying joints. (The disc is a joint). The muscles are in spasm preventing you from moving the joint which makes it hurt more. The joints are swollen like a fresh ankle sprain. Although trying to heal with swelling, it gets stuck in the area causing pressure, chemical irritation, and pain. You need to move the swelling out, getting fresh blood flow in, to speed pain relief and healing.

Ice and heat rules for neck and back pain in St. Charles IL

For your future pain and injury, use the following rules for relief. Always ice the bendy spots that hurt, and heat the non-bendy spots (starting two days after an injury). The bendy spots are joints. Joints always swell in response to pain and injury. The spine has 24 bones with at least three joints between each bone. These are all bendy spots. Neck and back pain respond well to ice.

The non-bendy spots are muscles. They may respond to moist heat which you can start 48 hours after a trauma.

Where do you ice for neck and back pain relief?

Ice the middle of the low back or neck, not the top of the shoulder or side of the back where it hurts. Joint pain and swelling start at the spine. It radiates out and down, but the problem is in the middle.

Rarely, icing aggravates pain. If this occurs, stop, and let us know about your reaction.

How to ice for neck and back pain relief?

For best results, put a damp towel, or one layer of t-shirt, between the painful area and the ice pack. Ice for fifteen minutes, up to once per hour. Icing 2-3 times per day reduces swelling and provides pain relief.

Further instructions are available on our Home Care Prescription handout. (Click here) It also details how to use over-the-counter medication for new or old neck and back pain.

Icing new and chronic pain has helped thousands of my patient feel better and avoid seeing me. If it gets you pain relief without seeing me, great. If not, schedule an appointment. We are here to help.

Be Well,

Dr. Mark


6:30am - 11:00am
4:00pm - 6:00pm


6:30am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm


6:30am - 12:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Fox Valley Chiropractic Physicians

1750 E Main St Ste 60
St. Charles, IL 60174

(630) 377-8844