Exercise! - Sore Muscles Heat or Ice?

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04-23-2012, 11:55 AM
I overworked my back way to much yesterday. Bad thing is I didn't work out. I'm a photographer and had a hard session yesterday...5 hours long lifting and carrying equipment, constantly up and down off the floor and pretty much non stop bending over photographing the little one. Anyway my lower back is pretty weak and I destroyed it. So what is better to loosen and sooth the pain... heat or ice? I am supposed to have zumba tonight but it doesn't look likely.

04-23-2012, 12:13 PM
If you feel there is actual significant damage done - ice and rest. But for a back I would have to have a serious indication of damage before touching it with ice.

If it is just muscle soreness from overwork usually I dont do either, but with a low back I almost always opt for heat. Ice for me on a back just makes it tighter.

And maybe not zumba (maybe if you can just keep it lower intensity) but if it is just sore and stiff some movement usually helps it loosen up faster.

Beach Patrol
04-23-2012, 02:31 PM
Take 2-4 ibuprofens and then ICE. Then HEAT. Then ICE. Then HEAT. 15-20 minutes on... wait an hour... do it again. And don't give in to the "lazy monster" - the very BEST thing you can do for it is to KEEP MOVING. The more you "lay & stay" the worse it will feel. Don't "exercise" (don't want to aggravate it!) but don't just be stationery, either. Get up, walk around, every 1/2 hour or so. Maybe do some light stretching, some yoga moves.

Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs to relieve some of the pain and allow the muscle to heal. When sitting, if possible, keep a big pillow underneath your knees.

And if you don't feel any relief in 2-3 days, SEE A DOCTOR! You could have something more than just "sore muscles".

04-23-2012, 02:45 PM
For some reason I usually hit sore muscles (that feel tight like I can't get them to relax, usually) with heat. I only ever use ice on sprains or swelling or something, for some reason. For a sore back, I'd have a hot water bottle for the area. I don't know if that's right or wrong but it works for me.

04-23-2012, 03:15 PM
Thanks guys!