The Benefits of Using a Heating Pad

 

 

The Benefits of Using a Heating Pad

 

 

Heat treatment has been proven to ease chronicle aches and pains. It can also be used in combination with cold treatment when an injury first surfaces. Heat treatment can come in many different forms. In this article we will focus on heat treatment that can easily be done at home, that`s also affordable and effective. Of course, we are referring to the use of heating pads!

Do you know there are different types of heating pads? Do you know the best use for them?

In this post, we will take a closer look at two different heating pads that gives out different kinds of heat. Also how you can use a heating pad to ease the pain in different body areas, like your back.

Heating pads can be essential in healing many different kinds of ailments, ease pain and loosen up the muscles in your back and other body parts.

 

Why Heat?

By applying heat to your back you increase the oxygen flow and nutrients to your muscles which help the muscles recover. Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in your skin that makes you feel relief. The heat loosens up your muscles, which helps with flexibility and decrease stiffness.

 

Different Types of Heating Pads

There are several different types of heating pads you can use. Some are specific to your body part, while some give out different kinds of heat. Some are electric, others you warm up in the microwave.

Below we discuss 2 different types of heating pads that give out different kinds of heat.

 

Regular Heating Pad

There is the regular kind of heating pad you can get. It can be plugged into the wall and placed on your back or another aching part of the body. They often come with settings of “low, medium, and high” on a control pad. These are the heating pads most of us are used to, and they work well for most situations.

Far Infrared Heating Pads

Far infrared ray heating pads, use far infrared (FIR) heat instead of radiant heat. These FIR heating pads cost a bit more than a regular pad, but it might be worth it if you are dealing with chronic pain.

FIR heating pads often are made with jade stones imbedded in mesh packaging. Like ordinary heating pads, they are plugged into the wall and have controllers, usually more sophisticated than ordinary heating pads, allowing the user to set a specific temperature.

The heat given off by far infrared heating pads is different from radiant heat. The heat is stored in the jade stones and is given off as infrared heat, which goes deeper into the skin, penetrating the tissues to a depth of about 2 to 3 inches. This allows the heat to relieve spasm in muscles that are far deeper than the skin.

Some infrared heating pads are made with tourmaline stones and amethyst crystals in them, which do dual duty as a far infrared heating pad and as a device which gives off negative ions. Negative ions are believed to have many health benefits beyond the relief of pain and muscle spasm.

 

How to Use a Heating Pad?

Heating pads are especially helpful for pain and muscle spasm of the neck, shoulders, lower back, and knees. They ease muscle stiffness and spasm of the muscles, allowing for increased mobility around the joints and relief of pain caused by tight muscles and inflammation.

Heating pads are designed to be used for brief periods of time, up to thirty minutes at a stretch, where they can heat the muscles and improve circulation to the affected area, which promotes faster healing.

Small Heating Pads

Small heating pads can be used on the back of the neck, the shoulder, or the knee. They are flexible and can be wrapped around these areas of pain so that the muscles can heat up and can be reduced of spasm.

After several sessions of heating for thirty minutes at a stretch, the joints will move more freely and there will be increased mobility. Much pain is related to inflammation and spasm of muscles and this is what heating pads treat best.

Large Heating Pads

Large heating pads can be used for the low and mid-back for those who have muscle spasm deep in the tissues causing pain and limited mobility of these areas. The goal of applying heat to these areas is to relieve the spasm, thus reducing pain and increasing mobility of the affected area.

Heating pads have many uses and can be used in many body areas. They can be used alone or in combination with brief applications of ice in order to relieve the pain and inflammation of injured areas of the body.

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Our Top 10 Extra Large Heating Pads

 

1. Sunbeam XpressHeat Heating Pad

Size: 14″ x 24″ (true size 11 x 23.5)

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Sunbeam XpressHeat Pad:

  • Heats in 30 seconds.
  • Option of continuous heat.
  • Soft micro-plush cover.
  • 6 Heat Settings.
  • Dry or Moist heat.
  • Quiet

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Some users don`t think it gets hot enough.
  • The cover is not removable.

Who should get this pad?

If you are looking for a soft comfortable, heating pad with continuous heat that can be used for both dry and moist heat then this pad might be for you.

If you do like your heating pad super hot then look for another option.

Click Here to View on Amazon

 

 

2. BodyMed ZZHP1427

Size: 14″ x 27″ 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the BodyMed ZZHP1427:

  • Heavy duty heating pad.
  • LCD screen that show digital number settings, the actual heat number.
  • Moist electric heating pad.
  • Removable cover.
  • Gets hot, you can set it up to 166F.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • There is no option of continuous heat, 60 minutes is the longest setting.
  • There is a beeping sound at the end of the session that some find very annoying.

Who should get this extra large heating pad?

If you are looking for a heavy duty heating pad, where you can set the exact temperature with your controller, than this pad might be for you.

Click Here to View on Amazon

 

 

 

3. Thermophore Automatic Max HEAT Plus Moist Heat Pack

Size: 14" × 27" 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons you might find this Thermophore MaxHeat Plus Heating Pad a good option:

  • Extra moist pack included
  • High Medium low settings control
  • Get hot upto 176 F

Why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Only stays on for about 20 minutes

Who should get this extra large heating pad?

If you are looking for a hot heating pad that forms after your body, then this might be a good option for you.

Click Here to View on Amazon

 

 

 

4. Theratherm Large Digital Moist Heat Pad

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Theratherm Large Digital Moist Heat Pad:

  • Moist heating pad, without adding water.
  • Digital controller for temperature and time setting.
  • Set time control up to 60 minutes.
  • Removable cover.
  • Gets hot upto 166F.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Maximum setup time is 60 minutes, no continuous heat option.
  • Some users have experienced that the pad does not last long.

Click Here to View on Amazon

 

 

 

5. Thermophore MaxHeat 14×27, Model 155

Size: 14″ x 27″ 

Electric heating pad: Yes

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Moist heating pad (draws moisture from the air)
  • Gets very hot, up to 176F.
  • High / Medium / Low Easy Control Settings
  • Removable cover

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • You might want a more heavy-duty pad.
  • The pad only stays on for 20 minutes, if you want continuous heat look for another option.

Who should get this item?

If you want a heating pad that gets very hot, then Thermophore MaxHeat will do the job. This is a heat pad that gets very hot, the hottest on the market that we have found.

Click Here to View on Amazon

 

 

6. Sunbeam 938-511 Microplush King Size Heating Pad with LED Controller

Size: 12″ x 24″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Sunbeam Microplush King Size Heating Pad:

  • 4 heat settings
  • Soft comfortable heating pad
  • Both dry and moist heat
  • Keep the pad on up to 2 hours

Reasons why you might want to look at a different pad:

  • No removable cover
  • Some have experienced short life span with this heat pad

This is a reasonable priced heating pad, with both positive and negative customer reviews, make sure you read our review before purchasing this pad to see if this will take care of your needs.

 

 

7. Thermophore Classic Plus Moist Heat

Size: 14″ x 27″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Classic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Comes with an extra moisture pack, that will add extra moisture for dry areas.
  • Gets very hot.
  • Removable fleece cover.

1 Reason why you might want to consider another heating pad:

  • This heating pad comes with a switch that you have to manually hold down to reach the desired heat you want. When you let go of the switch the temperature will slowly drop.

This is a good heating pad but you might want to consider another Thermophore model (model 155 or 355) that comes with the 3 setting temperature control. If you like the safety feature of the manual switch then this will be a good heating pad for you.

 

 

 

8. Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack/Classic

Size: 14″ x 27″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermophore Automatic Moist Heat Pack:

  • Moist heating pad (draws moisture from the air).
  • Gets very hot up to 176F.
  • Removable cover.

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • The switch, this heating pad comes with a switch that you have to hold down to reach wanted heat. You release the switch and the temperature starts dropping, to get the pad warmer keep the switch down again.

If you like what this heating pad offers, that it gets very hot for example, take a look at the 155 or 355 model that comes with a controller instead of the switch.

 

 

9. Thermotech Automatic Digital Moist Heating Pad King Size

Size: 14″ x 26″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermotech Automatic Digital Heating Pad:

  • It gets very hot
  • Removable cover
  • Moist heating pad
  • Easy to handle digital control

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • For some it gets too hot

Who should get this item?

If you like your heating pad hot, then this item might be for you.

 

 

10. Sunbeam 732-500 King Size Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology

Size: 12″ x 24″

Reasons why you might consider buying the Thermotech Automatic Digital Heating Pad:

  • Continuous heat
  • Removable cover

Reasons why you might want to look at a different heating pad:

  • Flimsy heating pad that wrinkle up
  • Strong smell when first used
  • One of the smaller “large” heating pads

 

The best heating pad for you personally depends on a few simple considerations!

Do You Need To Treat Multiple Areas?

If, for example, you were in an automobile accident and sustained multiple injuries on the right side of your body, you would be able to treat them all at once using a large heating pad.  With a smaller heating pad, you would either need to move the heating pad from area to area, or purchase multiple heating pads.

 

Extra Large Heating Pad for Lower Back Pain

Individuals with chronic lower back pain often have pain in their upper or middle back as well.  Pain in your lower back will often cause you to stand or walk differently in order to experience les pain.  By doing this, you end up using your other back muscles incorrectly.  As a result, lower back pain often spreads into other parts of the back.  A large heating pad work best for this situation.

 Other Areas to Treat with a Large Heating Pad

If you tend to be cold-natured, large heating pads are a convenient way to warm up, without making everyone else uncomfortable.  Large heating pads can be used to treat menstrual cramps and abdominal cramps.  They can easily be placed on top of the painful area-if you have painful cramps in your legs, simple place the large heating pad over the painful area.

If you are looking for a heating pad for a specific body part, those are offered as well. If you have aches and pain in your neck and shoulders, you might want to consider a neck heating pad, or a neck shoulder heat wrap.

 

What Kind of Heat Do You Need?

When deciding which type of large heating pad to purchase, there are several important factors that need to be considered.  Dry heat will draw moisture away from your body.  If you are retaining water which is making you more uncomfortable, dry heat would be what you should use.

Moist heat is able to penetrate deeper into sore tissue and provide more pain relief.  Infra-red heat is able to penetrate several inches of bone to heal deep tissue injuries.

Infrared heating pad is another great option, they often contain jade and other natural stones that add additional health benefits to the heat.

You also need to pay close attention to where the controls are located and how easy they will be for you to use.  Some large heating pads heat up quickly, others take longer to warm up.  Some can be set to operate for a specific amount of time, others require manual reactivation in frequent intervals in order to maintain a constant temperature.

Also you want to decide if you are looking for an electric heating pad or a microwavable one for example.

The Cover

If your large heating pad does not come with a cover, it would be wise to purchase one, or create an improvised cover with a pillowcase, T-shirt, or towel.  Although some large heating pads are advertised to be machine washable, this may result in a less than desirable outcome.

If a heating pad is large enough to cover you, it may be difficult to machine-wash it.  Since dry heat pulls moisture out of your body, and moist heat adds moisture, your large heating pad will need to be kept clean and in good working condition.

 

Do you use a heating pad? Are you maybe thinking of getting one? Let us know below in the comments.

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

 

5 Comments

  1. I suffer from back pain, especially in my upper back, from sitting at a desk all day. I really appreciate this article because I’ve never thought to use a heating pad before. I decided to give it a try today and was amazed to discover that it really works! Thank you for the natural treatment idea. It’s done wonders and I look forward to seeing more from you. 🙂

  2. Why haven´t I thought of these bad boys before… I sit at a desk huge part of the day and got little back issues.

    Thank you for bringing heating pads into my attention.

    What happens if I use a heating bad for longer than 30 minutes? (a lot longer)

    • HI Cevin,

      The general advice is to only apply heat for up to 20 minutes, only intense injuries benefit from longer applications.

      Also check out the link I posted above about sitting too much.

      Thanks,

      Dr Brad

  3. I easily get cold. Anywhere I go, I should bring my gloves because I can’t function well when I’m cold. These past few days, I’m thinking of buying a heating pad. And it’s awesome that using one could increase the oxygen flow and not just offer comfort. I appreciate you helping me learn about the advantages of having a hot pack. Thanks!

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