Use Heat Packs instead of Drugs

The two of the most popular non-prescription medications in Australia – ibuprofen (i.e. Advil) and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) – have been promoted as “first-line” management of acute low back pain. These analgesics may cause potential kidney, stomach, and liver problems, however. Self-administered topical heat wraps may offer a drug-free alternative treatment for acute back pain.

In a recent study in the journal Spine, the authors compared eight hours/day of low-level topical heat therapy with maximal recommended dosages of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Pain, muscle stiffness, disability, and back flexibility were compared in almost 400 people with back pain, ages 18-55, over two days of therapy and two days of follow-up.

Heat-wrap therapy was more effective than either drug. Heat wraps were significantly more effective than ibuprofen and acetaminophen in terms of self-reported pain relief. In the heat-wrap group, back flexibility was greater, and disability and muscle stiffness were lessened to a greater degree.

Based on these findings, continuous low-level heat-wrap therapy may be better than painkillers for acute back pain.

Emed Comment:

Emed sourced a new, cost effective, single use heat plaster that is now available. Flexeze heat and cold packs can be purchased from this site. Check the pages on Flexeze for more information.

If you have chronic or acute back pain, neck pain then you should consder the use these heat patchs. Our patient feed back on the patches has been great. They really work!