How Long Can You Leave a Heating Pad on for Aches
A soothing and warm massage is something that people look forward to after a long and tiring work week. Others opt for home remedies to instantly relieve minor body pains like applying an ice pack, frozen peas, or heating pads. However, many rely on heating pads.
Before you make this your habit every time you feel cramps or stiffness in your body, let’s learn more about it and know how long can you leave a heating pad on to make sure it’s not causing any danger to your health.
What Is a Heating Pad?
Heating pads are usually made out of thick, microwaveable fabric or washable covers depending on the type. It is used to warm and relax body parts that suffer from muscle pain, stiffness, and more.
Heating pads are used to expand blood vessels to increase blood circulation and add more oxygen to heal damaged tissues. More often than not, they are used to relieve and manage sore necks and backs.
There are different types of heating pads that are available on the market. Knowing each one means that you can choose which type suits your needs and preferences the most.
Different Types of Heating Pad
Heating pads come in different types: electric, infrared, chemical, and microwaveable. There are categories too, such as moist and dry. Also, some heating pad is designed for neck and shoulders, while others are made for back, arms, and legs.
If you’re planning to store a heating pad in your medicine cabinet, make sure you know what suits your needs before you buy one. Let’s differentiate them from each other.
- Chemical Heating Pad
This is great for treating your body ache even when you’re out and about as it is portable and disposable. This works better and heats right up compared to patch type. In addition, you can wear a chemical heating pad underneath your clothes.
- Electric Heating Pad
If you’re looking for deluxe comfort for that muscle spasm, then this is the type of heating pad that your body needs. It comes in different sizes from small to extra large.
An electric heating pad has settings that allow you to heat it to your desired temperature. Most models also have an auto shut-off feature for your safety. This type of heating pad will last longer if properly used and cared for.
- Microwaveable Heating Pad
This amazing heating pad provides moist heat and produces instant relief. It comes in different shapes and is reasonably affordable. Moreover, this pad can hold heat for 15 minutes.
Just simply heat it for a minute or two, and it’s ready for use. If you’re wondering what’s inside the pack, it’s filled with either rice grain, beads, or buckwheat.
- Infrared Heating Pad
This works the same as the other types of heating pads. What is special about this pad, though, is its digital function and temperature controller feature.
An infrared heating pad is either made out of natural or jade stones. With that, you can anticipate how heavy it is compared to regular pads. It may be expensive, but it is considered to be natural and more effective compared to dry heating pads.
How Long Can You Leave a Heating Pad On?
In this modern day and age, back pain is the common complaint of almost everyone. Luckily, we can rely on heating pads when it comes to providing quick relief.
Then again, heating pads need to be used with safety precautions as overapplication of heat may worsen the body pain, especially on fresh injuries. Hence, this section aims to guide you on how much heat your aching body needs.
- If you’re feeling neck and shoulder pain, wear a heating pad for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain.
- For minor back pain, you may apply the heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes long.
- However, for chronic back pain, you may need to apply heat for 30 minutes up to two hours. It may also require therapy sessions for fast recovery.
- For hand joints or minor stiffness, applying a microwaveable heating pad for five to 10 minutes is enough to relax the muscles.
In addition to knowing how long can you leave a heating pad on, it is important to prevent more damage on tissues and burn on the skin. Always remember, heat is for muscle pain whereas cold or ice packs are for injuries, especially swelling.
- Always use a cloth buffer to guard your skin against too much heat and burning
- Heat application is not suitable for people with open wounds, diabetes, dermatitis, and deep vein thrombosis
Benefits of Using a Heating Pad
Heating pads aren’t just for relieving muscle pain; you can also use them to warm up your cold hands and feet, especially during the winter season. Take a look at the benefits they offer:
- Instantly relieve body pain and menstrual pain
- Dilate blood vessels to increase blood circulation
- Keep the body warm and comfortable
- Improve insomnia
- Provide a comforting sensation
- Increase energy level
- Relieve muscle tension and stress
When buying a heating pad, you have to consider its features and the price too. As we mentioned before, base it on what your body needs and the body part where the pain often occur.
There is a long list of reliable and durable heating pads for back pain that are available on the market today. These pads surely take the edge off body pain and provide many health benefits. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to consult your physician before doing therapy on your body, particularly on serious injuries.
Clearly, heating pads are a really helpful and effective treatment to relieve body pain and stress when applied with proper temperature and in the right duration. If you’ve noticed, they all have the same function, which is to help get rid of body pain.
Surprisingly, these pads work really well for muscular pain and lower back pain, but always use it with caution regardless of the type of heating pad you have. You can use a heating pad along with other types of massage therapy with your physician’s recommendation.