One of the best kept secrets in the managment of inflammation is the use of Ice to reduce blood flow and inflamatory chemicicals to the damaged tissue which cause swelling and pain. Many people use heat which has the oposite effect increaseing blood flow to the inflamed area. This may provide relief in the short term by increasing blood flow to the muscle.
Next time you watch elite sportsman manage injury I guarantee the first thing he will do is put Ice on the injured area. If you want to increase blood flow to the muscle which is an important part of the healing process keep active, however the activity may produce inflamation and pain so you can break this cycle by applying a cold pack to the injured joint
Most people would use a cold pack/ice pack on the ankle or knee syovial joints forgetting that the spine is made up of more than 50 synovial joints each one can be just as painfull and debilitating as a sprained ankel.
Early intervention is key to restoring normal joint function quickly and preventing a problem becoming chronic. When a joint is painful and inflamed use an ice pack to help reduce the inflammation.
The cold packs that can be purchased at Spinal Joint for £7 and can be reused over and over again. They can be kept easily in your freezer for use whenever you need them and can be easily molded around a joint.