Things to relieve back pain

When to get help for low back pain

Image: Thinkstock

Updated: September 25, 2019Published: November, 2014

Pain from ruptured discs and arthritis doesn’t have to flatten you. There are a variety of ways to ease lower back pain discomfort and reduce disability, often without drugs.

Spinal problems are the price we pay for walking upright. Wear and tear on our backbones and the constant pull of gravity on our vertebrae take their toll over time. Nearly every adult has had a stiff or sore back at some time.

Sciatica is a term you’ve probably heard people use for pain in the lower back, radiating to the buttocks and down one or both legs. “When patients tell me they have sciatica, they could have one of two conditions—a leaking disc or spinal stenosis ,” says Dr. Steven Atlas, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. These conditions in turn can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which emerges from the lumbar (lower) spine, separates just above the buttocks, and runs down each leg.

Understanding your spine

The spine is a bony column formed by a stack of 24 vertebrae, which are open at the center, creating a channel or canal for the spinal cord. The spaces between the vertebrae are padded by gel-filled, fibrous-ringed discs, which absorb the force we put on the spine. Nerves run from the spinal cord at every vertebral space.

You get lower back pain that radiates into the leg when a disc or bone impinges on a nerve as it exits the spinal cord, most commonly between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. In people between ages 30 and 60, a ruptured disc is usually responsible; in people over 60, spinal stenosis is more likely to be the cause. In the latter, a reduction in the size of the spinal canal, often due to overgrown bone, puts pressure on the nerves.

Ruptured disc

Damage to discs can be caused by injury or simply by the activities of daily life. If a disc swells or slips out of place, it may press against a nerve. If it ruptures, the leaking gel can inflame the nerves. “Almost everyone has a ruptured disc at some time, but not everyone has symptoms,” Dr. Atlas says.

Although the term sciatica is often used to describe the pain, your doctor may call it radicular leg pain—radiating pain due to a compressed nerve. The pain usually comes on suddenly after the disc ruptures. Sitting usually makes the pain worse, while standing and walking may relieve it.

Treatment usually begins with over-the-counter pain medication and exercise. Exercise helps because standing and moving can relieve the pressure on the disc.

Though it may be hard to believe, the pain will go away without medical attention once your body has absorbed the disc material—usually a matter of a few days or weeks. When the episode is over, there is no need for further treatment. “I know people want immediate relief, and I often have to convince them that they don’t need surgery,” Dr. Atlas says.

But there are rare exceptions, Dr. Atlas says. “If your leg is weak or numb, or if your bowel or bladder function is affected, you should get medical attention immediately to avoid permanent nerve damage,” he advises.

Spinal stenosis

This condition becomes increasingly common with age. Over time, the cumulative effects of gravity bring the vertebrae closer together, and the discs also tend to dry out and become thinner. With less cushioning between them, the vertebrae rub against one another, causing arthritis. Arthritic bone deposits can narrow the channels through which nerves pass, putting pressure on them and producing pain.

Pain from spinal stenosis is known as neurogenic claudication (literally “difficulty walking originating in the nerves”). It is more subtle than pain caused by a damaged disc. You might have symptoms in your back, buttocks, or upper thighs, but the pain might not radiate all the way down your leg. The pain is also likely to affect both sides of your body. With spinal stenosis, your upper thighs or legs may hurt when you stand.

Sitting down to take the stress off your lower spine will relieve pain. Bending over slightly can also help by opening the spaces between the vertebrae to reduce pressure on the nerves. If you have braved the pain to get to the grocery store, you may be delighted to find that pushing a shopping cart can provide relief.

Treating spinal stenosis

Unlike disc herniation, spinal stenosis is a chronic condition. It can’t be cured, but the pain can be effectively managed with a combination of the following:

  • Oral analgesics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) or the non-NSAID painkiller acetaminophen are generally safe to use for occasional flares, but they have side effects. NSAIDs are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and acetaminophen with an increased risk of liver damage. Talk to your doctor about the right medication and dose for you.
  • Spinal injections. Injections of lidocaine to relieve pain and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation are commonly delivered to the area of the spine where the pain originates. However, controlled clinical trials have cast doubt on steroid use: after six weeks, patients treated with lidocaine alone had as much pain relief and functional improvement—with fewer side effects—as those treated with both drugs. “I usually reserve injections for patients who need immediate relief so they can get to a physical therapist,” Dr. Atlas says.
  • Physical therapy. Exercise is the best long-term approach to managing spinal stenosis. A physical therapist can teach you the exercises that will strengthen your back muscles to better support your spine and compensate for the pain. Massage and manipulation may not help this kind of problem because it originates in your bones, not in your muscles or tendons. Acupuncture may be helpful, but it has to be repeated.
  • Walkers. These devices can enable you to exercise without pain. Bending slightly to grip the handles of a walker can open the spine and relieve pain. “I often suggest that people with spinal stenosis get wheeled walkers with a seat,” Dr. Atlas says. “They can go out for a walk, and when their backs or legs begin to ache, they can sit down and get immediate relief.”
  • Laminectomy. An option when more conservative treatment isn’t effective, laminectomy involves removing the bony overgrowth that is impinging on the nerve. It usually requires one to three days of hospitalization, and often you can return to work within a couple of weeks. It may be performed with an open incision or through a tiny incision and guided by video from a miniaturized camera. “I often have a hard time convincing patients to have a laminectomy, and they may live in pain for a year or more before they agree, but they usually have relief,” Dr. Atlas says.
  • Spinal fusion. A spinal fusion procedure includes a laminectomy to remove pressure on the nerve. In addition, the discs between the affected vertebrae are removed and the spaces filled with a material made of bone dust or another bone-like material. In an instrumented spinal fusion, the vertebrae are held together with metal plates, rods, or screws. Spinal fusion surgery has several drawbacks. The six-week recovery time, during which the spine is immobilized, leads to muscle loss and necessitates physical therapy. The fused area of the spine is no longer mobile, so you can’t bend as far as you once could. The rigid spine section also puts more stress on the vertebrae above and below it, setting the stage for future problems. “Most patients with spinal stenosis will do fine with a laminectomy. Spinal fusion can be helpful, but for only a very small percentage of people. I recommend it only for people with degenerative spondylolisthesis—really bad arthritis where vertebrae have slipped out of alignment,” Dr. Atlas says.

Two exercises to prevent back pain: Back rounds and spine stretches

Back rounds

Step 1: Slowly round your back as you pull your waist up. Let your head fall until your forehead is parallel to the floor. Hold 10-30 seconds.

Step 2: Slowly let your abdomen sag until your back is arched and your chin is parallel to the floor. Hold 10-30 seconds.

Repeat: Do two to four times, twice a day.

Photographer: Michael Carroll

Spine stretches

Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, arms outstretched, and shoulders touching the floor.

Step 2: Without lifting your shoulders, roll your legs to the left. Hold 10-30 seconds. Return to starting position.

Step 3: Roll your legs to the right. Hold 10-30 seconds. Return to start.

Repeat: Do two to four times, twice a day.

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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In a small number of cases, back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.

Medical conditions

Pain in the legs, neck and shoulders can also be felt as back pain. However, it may be caused by another condition and you should consider seeing your doctor if you think the following might apply to you:

  • pain in the lower back that moves down the buttocks into one or both of the legs may be a symptom of sciatica (caused by pressure on the nerve endings that come out of the spine)
  • soreness in the lower back, muscle weakness, tight muscles and loss of bladder control may be the result of a slipped disc
  • back pain, buttock pain, swollen joints and tendons and extreme tiredness are common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis
  • lower back pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling can be caused by spondylolisthesis (a bone in the spine slipping out of position)
  • pain in the joints (including the back) when walking, and stiffness first thing in the morning are symptoms of arthritis
  • painful stiffness of the shoulder, which makes it very difficult to dress, drive or sleep, may be a sign of a frozen shoulder
  • neck pain and stiffness, headaches and lower back pain following a motor vehicle accident are common symptoms of whiplash
  • if your back is out of condition or you have other tissue problems, you might have a muscle or ligament strain
  • if you have osteoporosis the bones in your back can become brittle and break easily

The following serious conditions can also cause back pain:

  • a broken bone in the spine
  • an infection
  • cancer

Most cases of back pain, however, are not caused by disease or serious damage but by sprains, minor strains, minor injuries or a pinched or irritated nerve.

Back pain triggers

Back pain can be brought on, or ‘triggered’, by everyday activities either at home or at work. Sometimes it is caused by an injury to a joint, for example from doing sport or falling.

Pain can also develop over time as a result of sitting, standing or lifting badly. Common triggers that can cause back pain include:

  • bending awkwardly
  • lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling incorrectly
  • repetitive bending, lifting or sitting a lot at work
  • slouching in chairs
  • standing or bending down for long periods
  • twisting
  • overstretching
  • driving in a hunched position
  • driving for long periods without taking a break
  • overuse of the muscles, usually due to sport or repetitive movements (repetitive strain injury)
  • being exposed to whole body vibration

Sometimes the pain develops suddenly and for no apparent reason. A person can wake up with back pain and have no idea what has caused it.

Risk factors

Back problems get more common as you get older. Some conditions increase the risk that someone will develop back pain. These include:

  • being overweight — the extra weight puts pressure on the spine. Use the healthy weight body mass index BMI calculator to find out if you need to lose weight
  • not exercising enough
  • smoking — this could be due to damage to tissue in the back caused by smoking, or because smokers tend to have unhealthier lifestyles than non-smokers — get help quitting here
  • being pregnant — carrying a baby means extra weight, which can place additional strain on the back
  • long-term use of medicines that are known to weaken the bones, such as corticosteroids
  • stress — it is thought that stress can cause tension in the muscles of the back, which can cause back pain
  • depression — back pain can make people feel depressed, which can sometimes result in weight gain leading to more severe pain and a cycle of worsening depression

When to see a doctor

You should see a doctor for help and advice:

  • if you are in pain or get advice on medicines you can take
  • if your back pain lasts for more than 6 weeks
  • if you develop numbness or pain in the buttocks, leg or foot

You should also see your doctor urgently or go to the emergency department if you lose control of your bladder or bowels.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your back pain, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

When Your Back Hurts

Don’t Let Back Pain Knock You Flat

Is your back hurting? You’re in good company. In any 3-month period, about 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has at least one day of back pain, mostly in the lower back.

The back is a complicated structure. Its center is the spine, which is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae, stacked in a column. The nerves of the spinal cord run in a tunnel through the middle of those bones. Spongy discs between the vertebrae act as cushions. Ligaments and tendons hold everything together.

A lot of things can go wrong with your back. A strained muscle or a problem with a disc or a bone can cause pain. Back pain might also arise from a fracture or tumor. Much of the time, though, it’s impossible to tell what’s making your back hurt.

“We rarely find out exactly what it is,” says Dr. Gunnar Andersson, an orthopedicRelated to bones, joints, and the body’s movement. surgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “As long as it stays as back pain, we are typically not that concerned.”

Your back naturally changes as you get older. Discs degenerate and arthritis may develop in the small joints of the back. Those changes may show up on an MRI or other types of imaging scans. But such changes to the back are also seen in a lot of people who don’t have back pain. So it’s hard to know if the changes are actually what’s causing the pain.

People with obesity are more likely to have low back pain, as are people who smoke. Back pain is also more common in people who don’t exercise much, or in people who are mostly inactive but have occasional bursts of exercise.

The good news is most back pain goes away by itself. For a new pain in the back, Andersson says he usually advises taking over-the-counter medications for the pain and staying away from activity that is hard on the back—lifting, carrying, bending, and twisting. “Then, wait for the problem to disappear, which it will in the great majority of people over a few weeks,” he says.

But for some people, the pain continues. If your back hurts most of the time for more than 3 months, you have chronic back pain.

What doctors do about chronic pain depends on the source of the pain. Some chronic back pain requires prolonged medical attention. If the pain comes from a fracture or tumor, those problems can be treated. Surgery can help if the pain is caused by a ruptured (herniated) disc or certain other conditions like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column, which can put pressure on the nerves) or degenerative spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra slips over another). But surgery isn’t the right choice for everyone.

There are many treatment options for back pain, so be sure to talk to your health care provider about which approach is right for you. For most people, even chronic pain eventually clears up without surgery. The most important thing, Andersson says, is not to let the pain take over. Research has shown that patients who stay active are better off. Just be sure to avoid activities that might strain the back. “It’s important not to succumb to the pain and become afraid of moving,” Andersson says. “It doesn’t seem to make much difference what you do, as long as you stay active.”

10 Ways to Ease Back Pain

Looking for a natural way to manage your back pain? You might consider supplements or herbal therapies. Here’s what Grossman advices for her patients:

  • Glucosamine sulfate: This supplement may help lessen back pain caused by arthritis, she says. However, scientific studies on the efficacy of glucosamine sulfate are mixed — some show a lessening of pain with the supplement while others don’t.
  • Calcium and magnesium: When taken together, these supplements may help reduce muscle spasms, Grossman adds. In fact, a study published in March 2013 in Anaesthesia found that magnesium therapy helped to reduce pain intensity and improve lumbar spine mobility in patients with chronic low back pain.
  • Herbal therapies: “When back spasms are so strong you can barely move from the bed,” Grossman says, she suggests the homeopathic medicine Bryonia; when you have soreness after overexertion, she uses Arnica. Keep in mind, there’s little scientific evidence that herbals such as Bryonia and Arnica are effective treatments for back pain; though, a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in 2016 suggested they might help to reduce chronic low back pain from arthritis when combined with physical therapy.
  • Topical treatments: One potential concern with dietary supplements is that some may interfere with medications you’ve been prescribed to treat back pain or other health conditions. For this reason, Grossman suggests topical treatments: “Gels and creams can be very helpful and won’t interfere with supplements or medications,” she explains. “They’re generally inexpensive, too.”

When considering supplements and herbal therapies, always talk to your doctor first about potential risks and side effects, interactions with other medications, and which therapies may benefit you.

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We all keep first aid box, painkillers, anti-pyretic, etc. at home to meet unexpected medical emergencies, which seeks immediate attention.

Like all these items, Hot Water Bottle is also one of the most useful items to be kept at.

What is a hot water bottle for pain?

Old Fashioned Hot water bottle for muscle pain is a traditional product that is being used by our grandparents to get relief from horrendous muscle pain and body ache.

It is basically a bag or container made up of rubber, glass, copper, zinc, earthenware or wood filled with hot water and sealed with a stopper, used to provide warmth.

The most common hot water bottles used nowadays are made up of rubber.

These are one of the most favorite items for ages and are still used by most of us to provide immediate relief from various types of body pain and extreme cold.

Health Benefits of Hot Water Bottle

Typically used as a bed warmer (in very cold countries) hot water bottles are also great for the application of heat to a specific part of the body for getting pain relief.

Similar to an ice pack or cold pack, these hot bags can be used in many medical emergencies when placed in contact with the swollen body part or human skin.

Unlike electric hot water bags for pain relief, these are much effective, long-lasting, durable and affordable.

Hot water bottles can be well replaced with the electric heater, electric blanket and firewood as it can save your electric bill and fuel costs.

Let us check some of the most common health benefits offered by these water bags/bottles below…

1- Reduce back pain: Back pain is the most common problem experienced by the human at one time or another in their lives. Heat is often suggested to reduce pain and keeping a hot water bottle is the perfect way to provide heat.

These bottles are flexible enough to be molded and are pliable to use when sitting, lying or in any other position. It provides heat exactly where it needs to reduce discomfort due to pain.

2- Reduce muscle stiffness: Muscle aches including neck and shoulder pain are very common during winter due to the freezing temperature. Such cramps are easily cleared out by applying heat.

Muscle aches from other causes like running, jumping, incorrect posturing, etc can also be treated with hot bottles by keeping it wherever it is hurting.

3- Relieves menstrual cramps: Dysmenorrhea is a condition of painful bleeding which affects day to day activities. It is due to the rigidity of muscles in the pelvic area.

This rigidity can be easily cured by applying heat (by using hot water bottle) to the area, thus relieving menstrual cramp and period pain.

4- Reduces swelling: Nontraumatic swellings are usually cured with the application of heat. So using these hot water bags can also fight against infections and thus inflammation gets relieved.

Moreover, you can use these bags with cold water which is helpful in reducing swelling.

5- Reduces wheezing coughs: Hot water bags also proves useful in getting rid of problems such as cold and congestion.

For getting the relief it is usually placed above the chest during respiratory problems like cough and wheezing. It allows effortless breathing while providing great comfort to the users.

In addition to relieving the above symptoms, these hot water bags can be also used for getting relief from pregnancy pain, labor pain, stomach pain, gas pain, pelvic girdle pain, gallbladder pain, kidney pain, chest or breast pain, etc.

The 5 Best Hot Water Bottles For Pain Relief

As a hot water bottle provides various health benefits, it is wise to keep one or more of these bottles at home to get the advantage whenever and wherever required.

These are inexpensive and can be even carried while traveling.

Below are the 5 best options for you to check online when you are planning to buy one for your pain relief.

1- Fashy Hot Water Bottle

Fashy is here with a fancy hot water bottle for shoulder pain.

It is available in assorted colors and can work wonder for all your body ache including stomach pain.

Also, it works wonderfully in relieving conditions such as peristalsis and circulation problems, muscle cramps and menstrual cramps.

This Fashy Hot Water Bottle Classic can help in providing you with the optimum comfort as it works from the core and prevents pain from growing.

With a maximum capacity of 2 liters of water, this thermoplastic water bottle helps in retaining heat for the extra-long period.

After using the water bottle, make sure to empty it completely.

Open the lid and keep it in a dry area for the water droplets to evaporate from within, before you store it.

2- HomeTop Hot Water Bottle

HomeTop is proud to present an incredible hot water bottle, which is well known for its top-notch rubber quality and cute knit cover.

This bottle is made using premium quality rubber for ensuring maximum safety, at its best.

This HomeTop bottle comprises of ribbed outer surface, which helps in maintaining liquid temperature.

Natural rubber which is the main material used for this construction helps in retaining heat for a long period of time.

This Premium Classic Rubber Hot Water Bottle can be used as a remedy for pains, aches and sports injuries.

Avoid filling it with boiling water, as that might hamper the condition of the bottle. Using warm or lukewarm water is just perfect!

The cuddle and soft knit cover provided with this bottle are machines washable.

This cute knitted designed cover makes the bottle more comfortable and attractive looking.

You can take it anywhere you want -even at the office or in a car.

3- Peter Pan Hot Water Bottle

When compared to the other types of hot water bottles, the one from Peter Pan is just amazing.

This bottle comprises of 56% rubber content, making it eco-friendly and far more durable.

These are better as compared from other bottles as it is made out of chalk fillers, PVC or vinyl.

In case you are looking for the HIGHEST quality rubber product, this hot water bottle for pain relief is all that you need.

The Peter Pan Hot Water Bottle helps in keeping the water warm for longer, and can even keep ice water cold for hours.

It can work as a perfect ice package for reducing the swelling of the painful area.

It is an XXX large-sized water bottle, which can hold 3.2 quarts of water and can be used for covering a larger area easily.

Whenever you need to get faster recovery from the painful injury, this rubber water bottle is what you need to keep the pain away.

Whether you are suffering from swollen ankles, sore backs, stomach pain or even stiff neck, this water bottle is your perfect partner.

4- Relief Pak Hot Water Bottle

Just to soothe your body from tremendous pain without incorporating any medical pill in your diet plan, you need Relief Pak Hot Water Bottle.

This is made using premium quality rubber material, which can keep the inside warm for long.

If you are suffering from extreme menstruation pain in the stomach or want relief from back pain, this bottle is what you need.

The heat from this bottle can also be used for relieving arthritis pain, back pain, sports injuries, and even sore muscles.

This 2-quart capacity bottle from Relief Pak comprises of easy to fill feature with screw topper for a secure grip.

It is designed to be used on a daily basis and can address multiple usage values for long as it can easily withstand harsh pressure.

This Relief Pak Hot Water Bottle is flexible, light in weight and one of the most affordable hot water bags you can find on the market.

So, if you are planning to go somewhere, you can easily fit this rubber bottle inside your bag and carry it anywhere you want.

5- AZMED Hot Water Bottle

AZMED is here with its brilliant hot water bottle, which can keep water warm for long.

Just fill the rubber panel with lukewarm or warm water, place it on top of your painful area, and you are up for a great start.

This product is primarily made out of premium quality rubber, which is suitable for getting the ideal pain relief and ultimate comfort.

Whether you are suffering from stomach pain or want to get rid of swollen body parts such as the ankle, this Azmed Classic Hot Water Bottle is what you need.

The bottle comes handy with knitted bottle cover, which is more than what you have expected.

The knitted cover helps in keeping the water warm for some extra time.

As it is flexible in nature and can be carried anywhere you want.

Important Considerations when Buying

Heat based water bottles for pain relief are many times recommended over hot water bottle electric warming bags or modern heated pads due to the unique health benefits it offers.

However, if you are buying them online for the very first time, care that you look for certain factors before choosing the one.

Some of the important considerations include:

✅ Size: Since these water-filled warming bags come in varied sizes and designs you should look at and choose the size that is most comfortable based on your usage.

The size you pick should generally be determined based on the body area you are likely to heat at a given time.

For areas like neck, shoulder, and feet you may get a small-sized water bag but if you want to heat a bigger body area like lower back or abdomen its good to choose a considerable size.

✅ Durability: Durability of the product you choose should be your first concern, especially when it’s about protecting your body and family.

Make sure that you do not pick those cheap Chinese made products build with low-quality material, instead go for a one that is most durable.

With that said, look for the rubber material that is used for making the bag and choose the high-quality product that lasts for long.

✅ Material and Sealing: While buying and using, it is important to assure the material used and the quality of sealing.

The stopper used in the bottle you chose should be stable enough to prevent water leakage.

Also, you need to be careful about the bottle’s chemical components as it should not be harmful to human health.

✅ The Protective Cover: Many manufacturers sell their hot water bag along with a unique colorful fabric cover that makes the bottle long-lasting.

Many of these fabric covers are stain proof and helps in protecting the rubber bottle from getting a puncture.

Although it’s not an essential accessory, while making a purchase, you can consider getting the bottle that comes with a high-quality cover for extra protection and durability.

Make sure that it comes with multiple colors and multiple patterns.

✅ The Cost and Consumer Reviews: Getting an overpriced product from your local market is not a good idea if you can easily get the same product at a much reasonably priced online.

However, finding a premium quality product that is affordable at the same time, needs you to do a bit of research work.

Fortunately, you can easily check the latest consumer reviews and rankings of these products while checking them at sites like Amazon.

This will help you find a good affordable product (based on your personal preferences).

Hot Water Bag Application And Safety Tips

While using a hot water bag it is essential to follow certain tips so that you can get the best benefits out of it without any risk. Make the bag ready for applying it on your painful body part and get started.

First of all, do not add boiling water into your bottle as it can injure your skin when getting in contact – it is good to use warm water.

While filling the bottle, hold from its neck. Fill it to a maximum of its 2/3rd capacity so as to avoid water getting splashed back.

Now when you have completed filling it, check the water level carefully by gently squeezing the bottle.

Upon seeing the water appearing at the neck of the bag, insert and tighten the stopper. Ensure that it is sealed tightly.

Important Tips To Follow While Using Hot Water Bottle At Home

Here are some additional important tips and things to check while using the hot water bag:

  • While using the bottle, care that nothing is placed over it.
  • Also, care that you do not lie upon it accidentally while sleeping or working.
  • Prevent the bottle to get in direct contact with sharp objects, oil, grease, hot surfaces, and direct sunlight.
  • Best is to use a high-quality hot water bag with a cover which avoids all the chances of getting it damaged.
  • After using the bag empty it completely, dry it and keep it in a cool dark place.
  • Do not ever place the bag in the microwave or conventional ovens.
  • Do not place any other substance with water like essential oils, cooking salt, etc.
  • Use it for the intended purpose only and check it regularly for any wear and tear.

Most importantly, for getting the best advantages from your hot water bag, read the instruction manual carefully provided with the product.

Below is a video that will help you know more about how to use a hot water bottle at home…

Frequently Asked Questions On Hot Water Bottle

Hot Water Bottle Vs Wheat Bag: Which Is Safer?

The wheat bag is one of the best safe alternatives to a hot water bottle. Many times when people have kids or pets at home do not want to use hot water bottles due to safety concerns.

Microwavable wheat bags or heat packs come as the best rescue for them.

Although these bags are good to use and provide better flexibility to the users (than hot water bottles), these do not retain the heat for long.

Few users also complain about its bad smell which comes after a few usages. So if you are a bit allergic to odors you should avoid using hot water bottle bags.

Additionally, you need to be careful while heating them as it can easily catch fire in the microwave if heated for long.

It is good to follow the heating instructions carefully (mentioned on the product manual) while warming or re-heating them.

Also, make sure that you only buy and use a high-quality wheat bag which comes with clearly mentioned heating instructions.

Besides wheat bags, a gel-based hot water bottle microwaveable is also used by many. However, these are less popular due to fewer features and safety issues.

Electric Heating Pad Vs Hot Water Bottle: Which Is Better?

Electric Heating pads for pain relief are considered by many as a safer option for relieving various painful health conditions.

However, many still love to use traditional hot water bottles over electric versions due to the fact that these are convenient to use.

This is generally the case for elderly people who suffer from normal cold or cramps.

People who suffer from chronic lower or upper back problems find using electric heating pads helpful and convenient as they need to use them more frequently.

Additionally, for people who want to use heat therapy on bed find electric heating pad much useful due to the possibility of water bottle leakage or spill.

Many users, who have used both, recommend buying each one of them; as both of these can prove helpful in varied conditions.

How long should you apply it?

Ideally, you should use your hot water bottle for about 15-20 minutes. If it feels too hot as per your liking, it is good to remove it for a few minutes and then use it again.

Avoid using the heated bag for a prolonged period of time as it can cause a burning sensation when contacted with the skin for long.

Especially if your skin is sensitive avoid using it directly on your skin.

Who should not use these bottles?

Avoid the hot bag usage for feverish conditions and inflammations. If you are pregnant use it after consulting with your health care provider.

In case you are doubtful about the usage, first, consult your doctor and then use it.

When should you replace the old water bags?

It is recommended to replace your old bottle with a new one, after every three to five years even if it does not show any signs of damage.

Overall, a hot water bottle or a bag is one of the most essential items for every home. As it provides a range of different benefits to different users it is worth investing in this low-cost product.

You can even consider buying more than one model which can be chosen according to different colors and the needs of a user- Get one for your self and do not forget buying one for your kids.

Do not forget buying attractive looking covers for these hot water bags, which are made up of different fabrics to make them even more comfortable and appealing.

Hot Water Bag For Back Pain

Trendy Hot Water Bag For Back Pain at Factory Prices

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Use Heat or Ice to Relieve Low Back Pain

Topic Overview

There is some evidence that heat will help decrease low back pain. There is little proof that cold will help.footnote 1 But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for low back pain.

Heat to relieve low back pain

  • Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Moist heat (hot packs, baths, showers) works better than dry heat.
  • Try an all-day heat wrap, available in pharmacies.
  • If you are using an electric heating pad, avoid falling asleep while the pad is on. If you think you might fall asleep, set an alarm clock to go off in 20 minutes. Use heating pads set on low or medium, never on high.

Ice to relieve low back pain

Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions such as arthritis. Use either a commercial cold pack or:

  • An ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water, and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it for 15 minutes. Remove the towel from the bag, and place it on the affected area.
  • An ice pack. Put about 1 lb (0.45 kg) of ice in a plastic bag. Add water to barely cover the ice. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it. Wrap the bag in a wet towel and apply it to the affected area.
  • A homemade slush pack. Mix 3 cup (709.78 mL) water and 1 cup (236.59 mL) denatured alcohol in a freezer bag. Seal the bag, and place it in freezer until slush forms. Refreeze the bag when the slush melts.
  • A bag of frozen vegetables.
  • An ice cup. Fill a paper cup two-thirds full with water, and freeze it until it is solid ice. Before use, peel back enough paper to expose some of the ice. Rub the ice over the affected area for 3 to 5 minutes.

Ice the area at least 3 times a day. For the first 72 hours (3 days), ice for 10 minutes once an hour the first day, then every 2 to 3 hours. After that, a good pattern is to ice for 10 to 15 minutes 3 times a day: in the morning, in the late afternoon after work or school, and about a half hour before bedtime. Also ice after any prolonged activity or vigorous exercise.

Always keep a damp cloth between your skin and the cold pack, and press firmly against all the curves of the affected area. Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. And do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin.

Try alternating

You may also want to try switching between heat and cold. Use heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then a few hours later use ice for 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Properly Apply Ice and Heat for Lower Back Pain

No matter what kind of injury you’ve sustained, adding ice and heat is an important part in beginning the process to alleviate your pain.

Ice and heat help the injured areas to relax and promote proper blood flow through the veins. Both the ice and heat when used together can drastically slim down or even diminish any pain. When heat is applied, it opens up the veins and allows more blood and oxygen to flow through. The wide flow of oxygen helps to soothe the pain. When ice is applied, it has the adverse effect of heat. The cold causes the veins to slim and ultimately flex the muscles. This reduces the inflammation causing the pain.

Switching between the two can also help to speed up the healing process. Most doctors recommend that you begin by using ice to shock the muscles and veins, and then use the heat to soothe them.

For some tips on how to make the best use of these methods, head over to backpainrelief.net.

How to Use Ice and Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain

Using heat or ice therapy is often used as a preliminary treatment for back pain. By regularly adding heat or ice to the affected area, pain can often be relieved temporarily, and in some cases, for good. The best part of using ice or heat for back pain is that you can often do it with items already in your home. Read on to see why back pain occurs and how these tips can help you use ice or heat for your back pain relief.

How Does Heat Therapy Work?

When placing a heated object on the skin, this starts a process called vasodialation, which enlarges the blood vessels and relaxes the muscles. Healing nutrients and oxygen rush to the affected area to help it heal. This improved blood flow also helps cellular waste exit the area more efficiently, enabling your muscles to do likewise.

Heat therapy can be administered through many forms, such as hot water packs, hot stone, or warm towels. Soaking in hot baths is another popular form of heat therapy that is regularly used by back pain sufferers and anyone looking for relaxation.

How Does Cold Therapy Work?

By contrast, cold therapy works through vasoconstriction, or a narrowing of the blood vessels. When this occurs, it flexes the muscles and reduces the inflammation that is causing the pain. Cold therapy is most commonly done through ice packs or short amounts of time in ice baths.

Heat It

When using heat or ice for back pain, it may help to know that moist heat is more effective for back pain relief than dry heat. This can be achieved through a warm bath or shower. A moist heating pad can also work to provide relief. Other options to warm the lower back include hot water bottles and microwaveable cloth bags filled with rice.

It’s important to apply heat for only a limited amount of time. Fifteen to 20 minutes of moist heat can often provide the temporary relief needed at the moment. For chronic lower back pain, all-day heat wraps are available and can be worn and reheated throughout the day for constant relief.

Cool It

For cooling a sore or inflamed area of the back, an ice bag, freezer gel pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables are great ways to use ice for back pain. It is possible to buy an ice bag at most pharmacies. If a special ice bag is not available, put ice cubes in a plastic bag that zips and apply it to the pained area. You may also want to put the ice pack in a cloth pouch or a towel to prevent it from leaking. Towels can also be soaked in cold water, wrung, and placed in the freezer for 15 minutes to produce an ice towel that can be placed anywhere.

Cold packs should be used at least three times a day for 10-15 minutes a time to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. It can be used in conjunction with heat therapy for the best possible relaxation of muscles and joints.

Alternating Hot and Cold Therapies

In some cases, choosing either heat or ice for back pain may not provide enough relief. It can be helpful to use heat and ice together. By rotating between each type of temperature therapy, you can increase the likelihood of reducing pain by lowering inflammation and loosening muscles simultaneously.

Most physicians recommend using ice before heat. The ice temporarily shocks the muscles to attention while the heat loosens and relaxes. Pain relief ointments, such as Icy Hot, are found in many pharmacies and use this same concept by cooling the area first before applying heat. This provides the best way for muscles to relax and the pain to subside.

Precautionary Measures

Using ice or heat for back pain is generally a safe, do-it-yourself treatment. However, it shouldn’t be considered a treatment method on its own. In most cases, back pain should be paired with medication and exercises to fully relieve the pain.

When using heat, watch for redness and discomfort. Avoid using it for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. You should also place a layer of cloth between the heating pack and the skin to protect it from burning. The same goes for ice packs; place the ice towel or bag around an absorbent cloth to prevent the condensation from freezing onto your skin. Likewise, refrain from using it for longer than 10-15 minutes.

Heat or ice for back pain relief can help alleviate the pain many adults experience on a regular basis. Using these therapies alongside other treatment methods, as well as consulting with a qualified medical practitioner, are the best ways to get on track with a healthier, pain-free back.

While using ice and heat packs on an injured area are helpful in remedying pain, they are not the only way to alleviate back pain. Having the inflamed area examined and treated properly by a professional chiropractic will ensure that the pain subsides and heals in due time.

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