Is ice Massage Therapy Effective to Relieve Back Pain?

Ice massage therapy is a simple message therapy that has been proven to relieve back and neck pain. It brings pain relief when used alone or in combination with other treatment methods.

If you have a back pain, consider trying the ice massage therapy since it easy to do, cheap, quick and provides instant pain relief. There no limitations when it comes to ice massage therapy. You can use it on any back pains. It is most effective on back pains caused by muscle strain.

How ice Massage Therapy Works to Relieve Back Pain



Ice massage therapy works to reduce back pain in some ways;

  •  Application of ice slows down inflammation caused by injury. Inflammation and swelling accompany most back pains. Ice is the perfect method that can help reduce the inflammation fast.
  • Ice acts as an anesthetic by making sore back tissues numb.
  •  Use of ice slows down nerve impulses in the area where the ice is applied. By doing this, pain messages to the brain is reduced.
  • This is the best pain management method that helps decrease tissue damage.

Ice massage therapy works effectively if it is applied immediately after an injury – usually not more than 48 hours after injury. When the ice is applied, it makes the veins on the injured area to contract thus reducing blood flow. Once the ice is removed, the veins expand, and blood flows to the area. It brings oxygen and nutrients to the injured area which promotes the healing process.

You can apply the ice therapy on an injured back using any method- wrap a bag of ice in a towel or a use a commercial ice pack. Use these application methods to massage your back.

Ice Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain


Most cases, lower back pain is caused by muscle strain. The erector spinae muscle located on the lower back can become inflamed bringing about lower back pain. The muscles are responsible for holding the spine.

The common cause of erector spinae muscle strain is sudden and awkward back movement, sudden fall, wrong lifting techniques or sports injury. Any movement after the injury causes an immense pain on the lower back.
Muscle strains sound like a small injury but can cause immense pain. In fact, this is the main reason why people are rushed to the emergency rooms daily. The truth is that nothing much can be done for muscle strain, but a few days bed rest combined with a prescription of pain killers is the only treatment that can be applied. Application of ice can help reduce the by more than 80%.

How to use to use Ice Therapy for Back Pain

When applying the ice therapy for your back pain, you are recommended to use a large piece of ice. The best way to get the big piece of ice is to freeze water in a paper. Peel the paper to expose the ice. While lying on your back, let someone else do the massage therapy for you. Most importantly, make sure you are lying down in a comfortable position.

Place a towel or a rolled towel under your hips can help relieve pressure and stress on your back. If you do not have anyone to assist you with the massage, you can still do it for yourself. You can do this when lying on your side and use your hand to massage your back using the ice.

Steps of Applying the Ice Therapy

To get positive results follow the below guidelines when applying the ice massage therapy.

  •  Apply the ice gently using a circular motion.
  • Make sure to focus on the injured area – most importantly where the pain if felt.
  • Do not employ the ice directly on the bony area of the spine.
  • Make sure to do the ice massage therapy for 5-10 minutes to prevent ice burns.
  • Repeat the ice massage therapy for about 5- 6 times a day.

Ice burns are real, and long periods of exposure of ice to the skin can bring about serious burns. This should not worry you. Ice massage therapy can never bring about ice burns since the ice does not stay in one area for long. It is used to massage the injured part for not more than 5 minutes.

The main purpose of the ice massage is to make the aching part numb without burning the patient’s skin. Once the injured part becomes numb, withdraw from using the ice, and apply the ice again when the numbness wears off.
Ice massage therapy is most effective when used during the first 48 hours after the injury. After this time elapses, heat therapy will be more effective than the ice therapy. Some people prefer alternating heat therapy with the ice therapy to get back pain relief.

Precautions to Follow When Using the Ice Therapy

You should apply the ice therapy with caution to avoid ice burns. Follow the below guidelines when applying ice massage therapy.

  • When applying the ice therapy, make sure the ice does stay in place for long. Massage the back in circular motions to prevent this.
  • Make sure the ice massage the therapy lasts less or for 5 minutes.
  • Do not fall asleep while the ice is on your back especially if you are doing the massage therapy for yourself.
  • Never use ice massage therapy in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, paralysis or allergic reactions to cold.

You do not have to include a back massage with ice. Application of ice on your aching back is enough to relieve back pain.

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