If you're facing back or neck pain, you may have researched some remedies that can help you find relief. Two of the most popular home remedies for these conditions are hot therapy and cold therapy.
Depending on the severity of your pain, these therapies may help you feel better without having to invest in fancy treatments and medications. If you're intrigued, here are some tips on how to make your own gel ice or moist heat packs.
Cold therapy is a great option for back and neck pain because it can alleviate pain as well as inflammation and swelling. While you can use a bag of frozen produce, a DIY gel ice pack is a better option. You'll find that it's more comfortable to use because it can mold to your body quite well.
To make gel ice packs, all you need is a quart or gallon of plastic freezer bags, two cups of water, and one cup of rubbing alcohol. Once you fill the freezer bag with the water and rubbing alcohol, get the air out of the bag and close it.
Then, place it in another freezer bag and leave it in the freezer for an hour. When you'd like to use it, place it on top of a towel to reduce the risk of burning your skin. If you don't have or want to use rubbing alcohol, dish soap will do the trick as well.
Heat therapy is another effective way to reduce back and neck pain because it boosts circulation to injured areas. Moist heat therapy is more effective than dry heat therapy because it won't dehydrate your skin. It can also allow for better absorption and faster relief.
To make your own moist heat pack, you'll need a cloth container like a sock or fabric, 4 to 6 cups of flaxseed, oatmeal, or another filling, and a thread and needle. Take your cloth container and fill it with your filling of choice. Then, sew or tie it shut and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes.
Any time you use your moist heat pack, make sure you apply for 20 minutes at the most. Also, take a two hour break so that your skin can fully recover.
If you've never tried hot or cold therapy before, it's a good idea to experiment with both options to see which one brings you the most relief. In the event they don't help, consult your doctor.