Neck and shoulder pain are some of the most common, everyday ailments plaguing many, many people. Whether the result of a health condition, occupation or normal daily activity, pain in the back and neck can spring up without warning, and can be problematic to treat and relieve. Medications, therapy and hot and cold remedies are often the go-to lines of action for dealing with these types of pain management. Which is best for you will depend on your individual needs, the source of discomfort and your preferences regarding neck and shoulder pain relief.
Medications are one of the most common remedies for pesky neck and back pain. Typically, over the counter products like NSAIDS and acetaminophen are employed. However, there are some drawbacks to using medications for neck and shoulder pain relief. They aren’t always terribly effective, and some people find the recommended dose inadequate for dealing with their symptoms. Additionally, medications can involve side effects such as stomach upset that some people would rather not be subjected to. These factors combined with others lead some to look for other options, such as natural pain relief options.
Hot therapy and cold therapy are some of the most common home based treatments for neck and shoulder pain relief. Heat therapy can be practical for some types of muscle pain and can be very soothing and comforting. Gentle heat can help to loosen up tense muscles, which can be a source of cramping and discomfort. Conversely, cold therapy is ideal for preventing swelling and helping to reduce inflammation. Sometimes, the two are alternated in order to gain both benefits and combined with rest for the best results. Ice is more commonly used in the cases of back and neck injury, whereas heat for everyday discomfort.
One possible exception to this is the exciting prospects offered by a cryotherapy cold sauna. The hi-tech devices are becoming incredibly popular all across Canada, particularly in areas like Toronto. They have been popularized by athletes for use following extreme exertion or injuries, and many people caught the 2011 episode where the cryotherapy Dr. Oz seal of approval was given. The units are particularly noted in cases of leg, ankle, arm and shoulder injury, but have been used for a very wide variety of pain relief and enhanced recovery time.
Back and shoulder pain relief through cryotherapy is thought to be possible because of the effect that the procedure has on the nerves and muscles. Like localized procedures that are performed in a doctor’s office, Whole Body Cryotherapy can keep pesky nerves from sending pain signals up to the brain. Additionally, the external deep freeze can stimulate the immune system, sending it into repair overdrive, hence its popularity for both injuries and recovery. This procedure may therefore hold exciting possibilities for people searching for lower and upper back pain relief, conditions that have become notoriously challenging to treat.
Although Whole Body Cryotherapy has been around for many, many years, it’s only recently become more of a mainstream therapy option for a wide variety of health conditions; hence, studies involving cryotherapy results are limited. However, one thing that has been rather well documented is the utter lack of side effects associated with using cold saunas for back, neck and shoulder pain relief. Contraindications exist, however in healthy individuals that don’t have certain health conditions or risk factors and when used properly in a controlled environment, cryotherapy is considered incredibly safe.
It’s best to speak to a health care provider about your neck, back and shoulder pain relief options in order to determine which is the best for you. However, the tried and true practices of applying heat and cold are undoubtedly some of the most effective forms of managing pain in challenging areas like the neck and back. For these reasons, it might be worth exploring cryotherapy for pain management, especially in cases of chronic discomfort.