heat therapy for back pain
Health and Wellness

Using Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Oct 13, 2022

When it comes to pain, discomfort, or injuries, two of the most common treatments people turn to are heat therapy and cold compresses. As fast as back pain relief goes, however, there is relatively little evidence that cold compresses do much to alleviate discomfort. This leaves us with the trusted benefits of heat therapy for back pain relief!


Applying heat to your upper or lower back may provide a range of potential benefits that get you back up and on your feet in no time. Keep reading as we discuss using heat therapy for back pain relief, exploring its benefits and ways to apply it.

Does Heat Therapy for Back Pain Work?


While the overall qualities of warmth and heat have long been associated with comfort and relaxation, heat therapy goes a step further and provides both pain relief and healing benefits for many types of back pain.


The benefits of heat therapy have many applications ranging from deep relaxation and fighting inflammation to pain relief and reducing swelling. Does this mean using heat therapy for back pain relief works? It can! In fact, one study went so far as to compare results of heat therapy for back pain vs cryotherapy. The results showed the application of heat therapy (referred to as thermotherapy in the study) yielded reports of significantly less pain as compared to cryotherapy in the same group.

Types of Heat Therapy for Back Pain


There are two primary categories for heat therapy: dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat therapy includes application tools like heating pads and heat lamps. Many people have also turned to how massage chairs with heat therapy features can help and surpass all the rest! Moist heat therapy, conversely, consists of heat therapy applications involving moisture, such as warm baths, a hot shower, using a hot tub, or damp towels.


Dry heat therapy tools tend to be the more popular choice as they’re easy to use whenever you want them versus the longer setup and post-application cleanup of moist heat therapy options. Additionally, dry heat therapy applications can most often be applied longer and are more targeted for your specific pain. For example, using a heated massage chair as a way to use heat therapy for back pain relief lets you not only experience heat against your sore spots, but combine the additional perks of massage therapy for back pain, as well! This combination of back pain relief methods may compound your recovery, enhancing the healing process and getting you back to being pain free more quickly.

Benefits of Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief


Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what heat therapy for back pain is and know how to apply it, what’s the benefit of it? How does it really work?


The benefits of heat therapy may include:


  • Alleviating back pain relief
  • Treating sciatica symptoms naturally
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Fighting inflammation and swelling
  • Loosening muscles and preventing stiffness
  • Benefiting sleep quality and elevating mood

While some of these benefits may affect the body as a whole, each of them has the potential to alleviate back pain and get you back to feeling your best. Better circulation means essential oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles and tissue, allowing them to repair themselves more quickly. It also rehydrates spinal discs, which can help heal injuries like a herniated disc more quickly and naturally.


Preventing muscle stiffness keeps the muscles in your lower back from becoming more sore and inflexible. Using heat therapy for back pain relief is all about improving flexibility and mobility, as a whole.


Applying heat therapy for back pain relief is an effective, efficient method for helping your body heal more quickly. As always, it’s important to consult a medical professional before beginning any home treatment, but once you’ve been given the green light there are a number of application methods to consider. Instead of relying on basic tools like a heating pad, check out how a heated back massage chair can help. These tools are of the highest quality and provide a myriad of potential health benefits for people of all ages.


Ready to see how a massage chair is right for you? Check out the Ogawa Active L Plus Massage Chair that promotes total body wellness!
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