Does a Heating Pad Help With Kidney Stone Pain?
You wake up in the middle of the night with a pressing urge to pee. You get up, go to the restroom, and you find that you cannot pee. You find that parts of you are burning up. The pain is almost unbearable. Now, sleep is impossible and you are completely uncomfortable.
This scenario is the daily plight of people suffering from a kidney stone. The pain can be so severe that you would not hesitate to use anything that would bring immediate relief.
So, the question remains, does a heating pad help with kidney stone pain? The answer is yes. Read on to find out more about kidney stones, their causes, prevention, and how you can use a heating pad to find relief from the pain.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are solid masses in the urinary tract that are caused by chemicals and minerals that harden into a crystal. The chemicals and minerals that usually result in kidney stones are calcium and uric acid. Calcium and uric acid are normally in the body at low levels in excess can result in kidney stones if they are not excreted with urine.
Kidney stones are also referred to as nephrolithiasis. There are four types of kidney stones based on the chemicals or minerals that cause the kidney stone. Calcium, uric acid, struvite, cystine are the four types of kidney stones. Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones.
Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. These kidney stones can affect the smooth passage of urine when they are being passed. This blockage results in excruciating pain in the lower abdomen area. You might wonder if you are at risk of getting kidney stones. That leads us to the next question.
Who is at Risk of Kidney Stones?
Everyone stands the risk of getting kidney stones, though, some more than others. Men usually have kidney stones more than women. Non-Hispanic white people also suffer from kidney stones more than other ethnicities. You are at risk of suffering from kidney stones if;
- You have had them before
- Someone has it or had them in your family
- You don't drink enough water
- You are overweight or obese
- You are on a diet high in protein, sodium, or sugar
- You have had gastric bypass surgery or any internal surgery
- You have an ailment that causes irritation or swelling in your joints or bowels
- You take certain pills like diuretics or calcium-based antacids
How Do You Know You Are Suffering From Kidney Stones?
There are certain symptoms common to kidney stones that let you know that that is the ailment you are suffering from. While you might not be able to confirm them without medical help, you can begin to take preventive measures when you notice these signs.
The symptoms are:
- Severe, sudden pain in the back and sides
- Blood in your urine
- A constant need to urinate accompanied with an inability to urinate
- Cloudy and foul-smelling urine
- Urinating only a small amount or not at all
What is a Heating Pad?
A heating pad is a pad used to warm various parts of the body to relieve pain. There are different types of heating pads based on how the heat is transmitted. There are electrical, chemical, and hot water bottle pads. You can also find specialized heating pads used in plant propagation and the pet trade.
A hot coffee, a warm blanket, or a cozy fire have a way of giving a soothing feeling. It is this feeling that is communicated when you use a heating pad on an area where you feel pain. While it might not necessarily heal the source of pain, the physical and psychological relief you get can help speed up your healing.
Heating pads are used for getting relief from pains like backache, neck pain, shoulder ache, menstrual cramps, rheumatism, and other similar aches. When buying a heating pad, you would typically receive some information on how the heating pad can relieve you of these types of aches. But, you might not find an answer to the question you need to be answered: Can a heating pad help with my kidney stone pain?
Does a Heating Pad Help With Kidney Stone Pain?
Once you have confirmed that you have kidney stones through an evaluation by a medical doctor, some pain relievers will be prescribed to help relieve you of the pain. You would also be required to drink a lot of water to help you pass the kidney stone.
However, even with their help of pain relievers, passing a kidney stone, especially a large one, can be a very painful process. To reduce the pain, you can use a heating pad.
Place the heating pad over the area that aches with a blanket or heating pad cover protecting your skin from burns. You should always have a layer of clothing between your skin and the heating pad. You can keep the heating pad on the painful area for 20-30 minutes at a time, using it about 3-4 times a day.
You should reduce your usage of the heating pad as you get relief from the kidney stone pain. However, the heating pad does not become useless once you have passed the kidney stone. It comes in handy for soothing relief from other deep muscle pain.
Other Ways to Get Relief from Kidney Stone Pain
Other than a heating pad, there are other things you could do to reduce pain when passing a kidney stone. These suggestions are not a replacement for seeking medical advice, especially if you have severe kidney stone symptoms.
Some activities that you can try to relieve your pain are:
- You can walk around for a few minutes. Do it for only as long as you feel relief from it. Once it feels too painful to walk, you should stop and rest again.
- Try to do some gentle stretches and a little yoga. The exercise will help you relax and take your mind off the pain.
- Take a hot bath or shower. The warmth of the bathroom or shower will give you some relief from the pain.
- Drink a lot of water. The water will help the kidney stone pass quickly, leading to relief from the pain.
- Apply oils on the painful area and gently massage. This massage can help reduce pain.
Passing a kidney stone can be a very painful process. But, with the help of a heating pad, pain relievers, and other methods, you should feel only a little pain.