When in acute pain should I use ice packs or heat packs?
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The use of ice and heat can be very helpful in easing pain, inflamation and discomfort in the back and neck.
Ice is used when the client is in acute and chronic pain and there is inflammation in the area concerned. An ice pack should be placed on the area for 5 – 10 minutes and then left off for 20 minutes. This should be repeated for 4 or 5 times in one sitting and then repeated later in the day / night as needed. Ice packs should never be used on the very top of the neck where it joins to the head (an iced towel should be used instead).
Heat packs are used when there is aching or general soreness in the areas of the spine and neck. A heat pack should be placed on the affected area for 10 – 15 minutes and then left off for 30 minutes. This should be repeated 4 or 5 times in one sitting and then repeated later in the day / night as needed.