Table of Contents
- What is Heat Therapy?
- How Heating Pads Work for Back Pain
- Types of Heating Pads for Back Pain
- Why Should You Use a Heating Pad?
- What are the Different Sizes of Heating Pads for Back Pain?
- How do I use a Heating Pad?
- The Takeaway
Frequent back pain caused by muscle tension and stiffness in your back may compromise your flexibility and interfere with your day to day activities. If you experience back pain and you do not give proper attention to treat it, it may get worse and it may keep on coming back. While taking a pill is effective in killing the symptoms associated with it, heat therapy is a great alternative for body and back pain. Nowadays, there is no need to step outside your house just to get heat massage therapy. There are heating pads that you can either buy or make at home for instant relief of back pain. Do heating pads work for back pain? In this article, we will find out how they work and what are its benefits.
But before that, let us first discuss what a heat therapy is.
What is Heat Therapy?
Heat therapy is one of the most popular and convenient ways in treating back and body pain. Why is that? What is a heat therapy?
A heath therapy works by calming your sore muscles. Body pains like leg cramps, menstrual cramps, and muscle contractions respond very well in heat therapy. Ever since the wonders of heat therapy were discovered, it is being used by massage therapists. Almost all clients who experience heat therapy say that they feel much better after their session.
Also, heat improves the flow of blood and to a certain muscle group. It allows the blood to rush. This means more oxygen for your body and different types of chemicals that will aid in combating body pains.
Heat therapy is very popular because it comes in different methods. Unlike other types of therapy where you still have to buy high priced machines and devices, this one is very easy. Some people improvise by using a bottle with hot water. However, this is not always advisable as it can be dangerous. Other methods include warming a heating pack or heating it using a microwave.
The most recent and advanced device for heat therapy is an electric heating pads. It is not that pricey at it sounds. That being said, do heating pads work for back pain?
How Heating Pads Work for Back Pain
It is safe to say that a heating pad is similar to other home appliances. In order to operate, they produce Electromagnetic Field. You cannot see these lines as they are invisible. They are located around home appliances, cords, and wirings.
Most heating pads need a USB charging port to operate. On the other hand, there are heating pads that are rechargeable, making it easy to bring anywhere. When you turn on the heating pad, it will generate heat. You then place the pad to your back or on body parts where you experience pain and cramps. The heat reaches your muscle tissues and this will force knots to kill the pain. More so, it will soothe the disturbing pain of nerve endings. This is why massage therapy is more effective if heat therapy is incorporate.
Even people who suffer from moderate to extreme pain say that they feel more relaxed after having heat therapy. In addition to that, it also increases blood circulation to painful body parts. This allows more nutrients to enter your body and flushes out the harmful toxins in your body.
Most heating pads are made of soft fabric. This makes it comfy and simple to use. There are heating pads that can be molded to cover small or large body parts that experience pain. Also, this feature of a heating pad is helpful for curvy body areas.
Types of Heating Pads for Back Pain
Heating pads come in different types. If you want to improvise your heating pad, you can simply do it in the comfort of your home when you suffer from back pain. But for heating pads that are being sold in the market, there are three types:
1.Electric Heating Pad
An electric heating pad is the most recent model of heating pads. It costs much higher because it usually comes with advanced features to make your heat therapy session more relaxing.
You can use your heating pad while lying down to get rid of those back pain. If you experience leg or shoulder pain, you can easily wrap the electric heating pad around the certain body part.
The size of an electric heating pad is usually the same size as paper. Other pads come in a larger size to cover more areas of your body. Also, it connects to a cord like a regular massage heating pad.
An electric heating pad is the most popular type of heating pad because it is easy to use, effective, and is usually made of anti-inflammable fabric. Aside from that, it comes with easy to operate control. A lot of these pads come with 6 months to 1 year warranty.
2.Chemical Heating Pad
The next type of heating pad is the disposable chemical heating pad. This is ideal for emergency use and is not advisable to use every day because it can hurt your wallet.
This type of heating pad heats up in a matter of seconds when a small piece pushes against sodium acetate. This results to a chemical reaction that will eventually end up with the method of crystallization. The majority of this pad stays hot for a few hours.
Since this may cost you a penny, you should not necessarily throw it away upon using it. You can reuse the chemical heating pad by immersing it in the water for a few minutes. Upon immersing, bring the pad to room temperature. They are small in size and easy to carry, making it travel friendly.
Take note that not all chemical heating pads are the same. Before using one, make sure to read the instructions first because some chemical heating can be used for a maximum of thirty minutes only. More so, there are chemical heating pads that are created to use only once.
3. Microwave Heating Pad
The third type of heating pad is the microwave heating pad. This is the least popular type of heating pad because it is not that convenient and easy to use. Say for instance, you have back pain and you cannot move from your bed. If you have a microwaveable heating pad, you still need to get up and heat it up in a microwave. Unlike having an electric heating pad where you just need a USB charging port to use it.
Most microwave heating pads are made up of anti-inflammable cloth and are stuffed with rice, wheat, or gels. You can buy one at health and wellness stores and online stores.
4. Infrared Heating Pad
Last but not the least, an infrared heating pad. From the term itself, they are designed to utilize the far-infrared function. These rays safely and effectively perforate your skin in order to improve blood flow and. This makes the recovery of damaged tissues faster.
This type of heating pad is widely used in hospitals, clinics, and neo-natal homes because the use of infrared makes it safe to use. Also, it does not cause a burn. Nevertheless, it does not provide strong heat unlike other heating pads. But this feature make it safe for people with sensitive skin.
To learn more on how infrared heat can heal neck, back, shoulder, and knee pain, watch this video.
Why Should You Use a Heating Pad?
Heating pads are believed to be one of the most effective and safest treatment for body pains. But do heating pads work for back pain? Yes it even provides fast relief of back pain, lumbar pain, or upper back pain. Basically almost all types of body pain caused by muscle soreness. What are other reasons for using a heating pad?
1.Get rid of lower back pain
It is normal to experience lower back pain. But it can be irritating and it impact your mobility if it is recurrent. Normally, to treat lower back pain, an increased in blood circulation at the lower back is needed.
Heat therapy with a heating pad is an effective way of improving blood flow to your lower back region. It soothes the muscles which calm and expand the blood vessels. As an effect, the painful area will receive more oxygen and nutrients to keep to ease the muscle pain.
2. Relieves Stress
Another common ailment aside from lower back pain is a headache. It is the pounding feeling on your temples, side of your head, or in front of your head. The one responsible for transferring distress signals to your brain are the surface points in your body.
You know have an extreme headache if you cannot work properly. Using heating pad decreases the headache by exposing it to high temperatures. Extreme temperatures ease your nerve endings as they respond properly in irregular temperature. Heat therapy calms muscles and decrease inflammation.
3. Reduces neck pain
If neck pain is caused by exhausted or tired muscles, utilizing a heating pad can trigger excitement in your skin, reducing the neck pain. If triggered by anxiety and your neck muscles is tight for several hours, using a heating pad will help your muscles calm.
What are the Different Sizes of Heating Pads for Back Pain?
Although there are several types of a heating pad, they usually come in the size of paper. This is to cover large areas of your body. But there are are also brands that sell heating pads in small and medium sizes. The sizes depend on the situations, level of pain, and parts of the body.
For instance, a small heating pad is ideal in getting rid of a knee or elbow pain. You can also use this in targeting neck and shoulder pains.
For lower back pain, a small sized heating pad may not be suitable as you lower back needs a larger heating pad to cover the region. By using a large heating pad, you will get to treat your lumbar at once.
For girls who suffer from menstrual cramps, it is advisable to use a large heating pad.
How do I use a Heating Pad?
Heating pads do not only work for back pain but several body pains. How you will use a heating pad depends on the body part.
If you want to treat your upper or lower back, first lie down on a firm and soft area where you are comfortable the most. Make sure that the heating pad is in full contact with your back. Also, make sure that it encompasses all the regions where the pain is coming from. Do not expose the heating pad directly to your skin. Always place a cloth or a towel between the pad and your skin to avoid skin burns.
Once you place the heating pad to your desired location, slowly lie down on it so you can slowly familiarize yourself to the change of temperature. Only use the heating pad for a maximum of one hour. Usually a 30-minute heat therapy using the heating pad is enough to treat your body pain.
If you have a wound on the region of your body that you want to get treated, consult a doctor first. Depending on the wound, he/she may allow to get a heat therapy for a few minutes if it is not that severe.
Sore and tight muscles cause back pain. It is hard to proceed with your every day routine if you suffer from back pain and you cannot do anything about it. Although there are medications to temporarily treat back and body pains, having heat therapy is safer. It works by penetrating the heat in to your muscle tissues in order to improve the blood circulation. This will supply more oxygen to a certain region of your body. It is now easy to treat your back pain with heat therapy. There are electrical heating pads, chemical heating pad, and microwaveable heating pads. All of which can be bought online. Or you can also improvise a homemade heating pad. All of these are effective in getting rid of back pain, leg pain, and neck and shoulder pain.