Back pain is common and there is no agreement about the best way to treat this common condition. A new study in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine attempted to determine whether heat or cold is more effective. People with acute backaches who went to the emergency department were randomly assigned an ice pack or a heating pad. They were also given 400 mg of ibuprofen. After half an hour they were asked to rate their pain again. All of the patients felt better, but only by a little bit. The authors concluded that using heat or cold was not clinically significant but that just the act of doing something may help people feel better.
[Academic Emergency Medicine, May 2010]

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  1. ss

    I have had bursitis for many years and had a frozen shoulder about 5 years ago. Anti-inflammatories and physical therapy did nothing to help my shoulder. After 4 weeks of taking pills that wreaked havoc with my stomach and 5 or 6 weeks of physical therapy, the therapist told me that my range of motion was less than when we started and she may have to start forcing movement. Not being a fan of any amount of pain, I said thanks but no thanks and went to an MD who also uses holistic methods.
    After about 3 micro current treatments, my shoulder began to feel better and regain some movement. After 6 treatments with micro current therapy, my shoulder had normal range of movement and the pain was gone. Micro current is not painful, stressful, or strenuous. It works for me and I would recommend it to anyone with chronic muscle, joint, or nerve pain.

  2. Greg Pharmacy Student

    Back pain is such a problem. Disappointingly is a chronic problem for many people.
    In pharmacy college we always learned to ice for the first 48 hours after an injury and use heat after that initial 2 days.
    Back pain for many is a chronic problem due to an injury, or injuries; that do not ever completely heal.
    I would recommend a chiropractor.

  3. Kathleen

    I am enduring sciatic nerve pain. This pain radiates down from my lower left hip through my buttock area and down to my knee and lower leg. It is always there. A few months ago, it started to get worse. Maybe it is because I take Cipralex which is a new anti-depressant. It feels like arthritis when I stand up.
    I have tried cold packs and hot packs and tylenol for back pain, tylenol for sore muscles and Tylenol for arthritis.. Since I am on Cipralex I cannot take advil or aspirin or ibuprofen. I do go to the chiropractor every two weeks or so to get some relief. Even this does not take the lower back pain away. A botched epidural caused all this damage 33 years ago when I had my second child.
    I would like to ask anyone who also suffers with lower left hip pain and also had an epidural to please send in your story here. There is a site that I have found where others suffer with lower back pain and numbness from epidurals… There is no doctor that will ever admit this could be the result of a botched epidural… It is discouraging but very true. It happens even now in the 21st century. Check out . There is a forum on there and many people have written in their stories about back pain and botched epidurals.
    If anyone can help me find some relief I would be eternally grateful. Right now I suffer every time I try to stand up or when I get up in the morning… it is sheer torture. My leg does not want to hold me up anymore.
    Heat or ice… nothing works. How long can one stay on Tylenol without suffering liver damage too? It is a nightmare.

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