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Heating Pad - An Effective Pain Reliever!

Nancy Playfoot posted this on Jun 3, 2020

Is your hectic work-from-home schedule taking its toll upon your back? Of late, back stress has been a common complaint prevailing in almost every household. Long working hours coupled with an incorrect sitting posture (being in the comforts of your home) is the sole factor for such issues. At this hour, heating pads can effectively come to your rescue!

Many perceive heating pads to be a comforting agent for the body during winter. Well, you can alternatively use it for cold nights, but heating pads are primarily great pain relievers! Before enumerating the areas of application of heat therapy, let us look into how the latter works in cases of pain relief.

How is heat therapy beneficial?

The application of heat is technically termed as ‘thermotherapy’. A more ornate and modern terminology is 'cryotherapy'. To put it simply, heat aids in relaxing and opening blood vessels which in turn enhances the blood flow. Since blood flows it carries oxygen too paving the way for the removal of toxins from the area.

Another interesting aspect of this methodology is that the application of heat stimulates the heat receptors at the site of the pain. Consequently, your brain focuses more on the heat sensation and less on the feeling of pain which lessens the discomfort! Cryotherapy is therefore applied in cases of:

• Pain-related to arthritis and joint stiffness

• Muscle spasms

• Chronic back pain

• Neck and shoulder aches

Did you know ‘moist heat therapy’ works even better?

Moist heat works better and the logic underlying it is rather simple. Moist temperature is absorbed by the body faster as its ability to penetrate the skin pores is much more. In fact, moist heat feels much more comfortable on the skin than dry heat. This is because the latter often irritates the skin and gives it a burning sensation much faster than the moist pads.

However, apart from these, the functionalities of both dry and moist heating pads are the same. The choice rests completely upon the user and he or she may go for the easier-to-use option.

Variants of heating pads

Heating pads come in numerous shapes and sizes. The beneficial features like auto shut down, power button fitted, washable covers, etc. are some of the parameters that you need to choose from. Besides all of these, they can be segmented into major types like:

Microwave heating pads:

So how do heating pads get microwave heated? The simple technique in use is that the outer fabric used as the cover is filled with grains. It could be buckwheat or flax seeds or some other variant. The microwave radiation is absorbed by these grains and the pad gets heated in the process. One advantage in which microwave pads score is that they are very comfortable as the heat does not penetrate deep into the skin!

Infrared heating pads:

They are mostly used in treating some chronic pain or muscle spasms. Since the infrared rays are able to reach up to greater depths, they can penetrate the muscle tissues to provide pain relief. This makes them a rather expensive item in the ‘dry heating pads’ segment.

Electric heating pads:

These depend simply upon domestic electricity. They penetrate immediately below the skin – the depth being not more than a quarter of an inch. This is indeed the most used heating pad across households.

A low-priced solution...

To my opinion, the greatest advantage of the heating pad is that they are inexpensive. Pain treatment is at times much higher priced given the cost of medications and therapy sessions! A heating pad in hand saves time as well as money. There are no recurring costs either!

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