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Does Heating Pad Help Back Pain

When To Use Heat Vs When To Use Ice For Lower Back Pain

How to Use Heating Pad for Back Pain? Worth it?

Both heat and cold therapy are beneficial and can provide effective relief from lower back pain. If you are like many people, though, you might not know when to use heat vs. when to use ice for lower back pain to achieve the maximum benefit. If you are suffering from lower back pain, read on to discover whether you should be using heat or ice.

How To Apply Heat Therapy For Your Sciatica Symptoms

While it may seem logical to apply heat to the area where your sciatica feels worstlike the back of your thigh or your calf, these areas are not the source of your pain. Sciatic nerve pain originates from your rear pelvis and the lower back, and heat therapy works best when applied to this region.

Heat therapy is easily available, simple to use, and can provide immediate relief from the shooting sciatic nerve pain in your legread on to learn how.

Hot Water Bottle Or Gel Pack

Heated gel packs and water bottles go directly on the skin provided they are at a safe temperature. If your pack or bottle is too hot, cover the affected area with a cloth before applying heat.

Gel packs and water bottles stay warm for about 30 minutes. Once they cool, allow your body temperature to regulate before reheating. Applying too much heat to a concentrated area is detrimental to your body temperature regulation.

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Is Apple Juice Helpful In The Treatment Of Kidney Stones

Patients are typically counseled to undertake dietary modifications, such as drinking more citrus drinks, in addition to taking medicine to prevent the development of kidney stones. Then there are cranberry and apple juices, which are excellent for certain stones but dangerous for others, according to research.

Yes Heat Enhances Circulation

Heating Pad For Back Pain

One impact that heat can have on the body is that of improving circulation. Poor circulation flow in the body means that nutrients which are fed to the joints and tissues can be slower in making their journey. It makes sense that a body where circulation is improved and nutrients are delivered in an efficient way could be a body that has a lower level pain and a better way of coping with pain.

By applying a high quality heat pad with infrared therapy the blood will flow and circulate much better. Infrared works in a different manner to a traditional heat pad. A traditional heat pad will heat up the surface and heat very little inside the body. Whereas a infrared heat pad will work through invisible infrared rays .

The infrared rays penetrate much deeper into the body. As far as several inches at a time. This is ideal for people with arthritis as it gets right into the painful joints where the pain is sever. The infrared will start heating inside of the body and not on the surface of the skin. So this is also preferred for people with arthritis as it wont burn the skin.

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Ice Vs Heat For Injuries: How Do I Know Which Is Best

Home / News / Ice vs. Heat for Injuries: How Do I Know Which Is Best?

Everyone experiences pain. Whether its a headache, a torn ligament, a sprained ankle or sore muscles, pain is just a fact of life for many people. Pain is our bodys way of telling us when something is wrong, whether its a new injury, a medical condition or the result of a long day on our feet. However, pain is not something anyone needs to tolerate.

Whatever the reason for pain, one undeniable fact remains: No one wants to be in pain. And, while modern medicine has produced a lot of reliable medications that are designed to help with various levels of pain, its not always necessary, or appropriate, to rely solely on medication to correct the problem.

Thats where ice and heat therapies come in. Depending on the source of your pain arthritis, a new injury or a grueling workout ice, heat or both can go a long way toward relieving your pain and improving the overall quality of your life.

What You Should Know

Use an ice pack, a frozen towel, or, even a bag of frozen vegetables – peas and corn work great. Keep the ice on up to 20 minutes at a time, using a towel to avoid direct contact between the ice pack and your skin. Let the area get numb, wait and hour and then you can reapply the cold pack, if necessary. Ice should only be used up to three days following injury. After that, you might want to check-in with your doctor.

Ice application to an acute injury is generally safe. To avoid the risks, limit your usage to 20 minutes at a time and avoid using super cold products. Don’t let yourself fall prey to frostbite due to prolonged application to fingers, toes, ears, nose. And avoid nerve injury, particularly the ulnar nerve on the inside of your elbow and the peroneal nerve on the outside of your knee.

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What Our Editors Say

“This heating patch comes in handy during the first few days of my cycle, when my cramps are at their worst. So far, it hasn’t felt uncomfortably hot and the adhesive holds up well for the 6 hours. I like that cords don’t need to be involved, so I can use them when out and about. The infused herbs and low price point are a nice bonus.” Tori Zhou, Associate Health Commerce Editor

Things You Can Do To Prevent And Manage Lower Back Pain

Is a heating pad good for lower back pain?

About 80% of adult Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. For a lucky few, these incidents are isolated and short. For others, its a lifelong relationship with pain management. In rare cases, theres a physical problem about which you can do nothing.

For the majority, however, some changes to lifestyle and attention to detail can ease lower back pain. As debilitating as it can be, lower back pain is usually self-treatable and temporary. Here are eight tips to help prevent and manage pain in your lower back.

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Other Forms Of Heat Treatment For Arthritis

Paraffin wax treatment system available on Amazon.

While heating pads are just one of the better ways to treat pain in the joints cause from arthritis, there are some other ways to apply heat to loosen up your body and increase blood circulation.

  • If you have a bath, take a long warm bath to help circulate the blood all around the body. Alternatively, take a shower.
  • If arthritis is in the hands and feet, a paraffin wax treatment system is a great way soothing and relieving joint related pain. Also used for generally loosening up movement.
  • Coat your hands in mineral oil, put on some dish washing gloves and run them under hot water for 4-8 minutes.
  • A sauna is a popular way for treating arthritis with heat therapy. While its not a cure, it sure can be beneficial for the body.

Heating Pads For Muscle Pain Relief 4 Questions Answered

There are times when either heat or ice can be helpful in reducing pain and encouraging healing during the bodys recovery process from muscle pain or soreness. When it comes to the application of heat via heating pad, there are multiple health and safety considerations to make so that one can ensure they arent making the injury worse, prolonging recovery, or introducing other bodily injury risks into the equation. Below are answers to four commonly asked questions about the use of heating pads for the treatment of muscle soreness.

  • How does a heating pad work to help with sore muscles?
  • There is also a role that heat is believed to play in the gate theory of pain. Simply put, different nerves carry different messages from an area of the body to the brain. The brain puts all those messages together, and we then experience the sum of those messages as a sensation. If we are experiencing terrible muscle aches from a rigorous hike or HIIT workout, those muscles have their pain receptors activated and working full time to send constant pain signals back to the brain. When we apply heat to the area that is hurt, we activate different nerves to transmit this new, non-painful message to the brain, whose message can deaden or lessen the underlying nerve pain messages.

  • If heating pads can be helpful in some cases, what type of heating pad is best?
  • Is it ever ok to fall asleep while using a heating pad?
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    Trends In Cold Therapy

    Ice has long been a central component of post-workout recovery for athletes, as an ice bath can soothe inflamed, post-workout muscles.

    That said, cold therapy should not occur right after workouts. While an ice bath might feel great, this post-workout inflammation is actually an important element of helping an athlete to become stronger and more resilient.

    Some athletes use controlled cold exposure to reap hormonal benefits and gain a mental edge. Some studies have also shown that therapeutic cold exposure can lower your risk of upper respiratory infections.

    When Heat Is The Right Choice

    Upgraded Electric Heating Pad, Comfytemp Small 9 Setting ...

    For muscle spasms, chronic pain and other non-immediate injuries, use heat. Heat relaxes tight muscles whereas cold tends to lead to further contraction.

    More often than not, neck and back pain isnt caused by an injury such as a torn muscle. Instead, its more likely a muscle ache or possibly an irritated nerve caused by longstanding muscle imbalances.

    When in doubt whether youve actually experienced an injury as described above, try heat first. When dealing with chronic pain, heat usually wins the day over cold.

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    Bonus Tip: Stretch After Using Heat Therapy To Strengthen Your Lower Back

    While heat therapy may help you find quick relief from your sciatica symptoms, it is best used as part of a broader treatment plan that typically includes stretching and other targeted exercises.

    Read more about Sciatica Treatment

    When you experience pain relief after using heat therapy, try to perform simple lower back stretches. Stretches and targeted exercises can help prevent sciatica from recurring, by relieving the sciatic nerve compression, strengthening your tissues, and improving the flexibility in your lower back.

    See Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica

    Use these tips today to see if the benefits of heat treatment help improve your sciatica symptoms. For long-term pain relief, add an exercise program or regular walking to your everyday routine.

    The Carex Bed Buddy Heat Padand Cooling Neck Wrap Can Be Used Anywhere On The Body But Works Particularly Well For Neck And Shoulder Pain Its Long Thin Shape With Loop Handles On The Ends Wraps Snuggly Around Your Neck Or Across Your Shoulder You Can Heat It In The Microwave To Apply Moist Heat Or Put It In The Freezer To Use As A Cold Pack

    • Use it hot or cold. Put it in the microwave for between 37 and 75 seconds, depending on your microwave, and you get comforting, muscle relaxing moist heat. If you put it in your freezer for a few hours, you have a useful cold pack.

    • 100% natural, organic material – The pad is filled with grains, herbs, and flowers and covered by a soft, comfortable cover.

    • Form Fitting means it can be used anywhere on the body from the neck to the back. Cold, its ideal for headaches and swollen joints. The warm or hot moist heat works well for carpal tunnel wrists, shoulder discomfort and neck strain.

    • Portable – because theres no cord, you can move around with the pad while it does its work. You can also safely lie on it or wear it to fall asleep.

    The Carex Bed Buddy is great because you can use it hot or cold, and it conforms to your body. It’s safe to use while in bed, so the moist heat can soothe muscles to help you fall asleep. It’s filled with 100% organic material, grains, herbs, and flowers.

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    What Are The Sizes Of Kidney Stones That Need Surgery

    Medically, a little stone of 6 mm or less in the urinary tube that is not causing considerable kidney edema may be handled. You wont need surgery, but you will need to be monitored by a doctor.

    The can a 7mm kidney stone dissolve is a question that asks if you can use a heating pad with kidney stones. The answer is yes, but it should be used with caution and only when recommended by your doctor.

    When To Chill And When To Heat

    Heating pad helps with cramps, back pain

    Many of these conditions are treatable with medication as prescribed by your health care provider. And, for other situations, over-the-counter pain relievers may be enough to help. But you still may need further relief so here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding between ice or heat for aching muscles and joints.

    Reminder: if any of these conditions are new or dont resolve quickly, be sure to contact your health care provider for more treatment options.

    Acute injuries

    First of all, do not use heat on acute injuries because that extra heat can increase inflammation and delay proper healing.

    When dealing with injuries, its best to predominantly choose ice if the injury is acute . The chill constricts blood vessels which numbs pain, relieves inflammation and limits bruising.

    If youre sensitive to cold then ice may initially seem uncomfortable or even painful to apply. Heat can feel warm, cozy and be tempting to toss on an injury, says primary care sports medicine physician Anne Rex, DO. But dont be fooled! Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.

    If youre dealing with lingering injuries then its okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints. This is especially helpful to improve range of motion on a joint that maybe isnt moving as well.


    Gout flare-ups


    Muscle strains and sprains



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    Heat Reduces Reliance On Medications

    Heat therapy is more effective and more cost-friendly than over-the-counter pain medications.12 The low risk of side-effects is one of the key advantages of heat therapy. Low back pain tends to arise frequently, so treatment with pain medications for every episode of pain may lead to drug dependence. Heat therapy offers a valuable alternative to drug therapy for chronic low back pain.

    Heat application is the treatment of choice for individuals who desire a natural form of pain relief that simultaneously acts on multiple levels healing the body, soothing the muscles, facilitating exercise, and relieving stress.

    Always Start On The Lowest Setting

    To start, set the heating pad on the lowest setting. For minor aches and pain, a low setting might be more than enough to reduce pain and stiffness. You can gradually increase the intensity of heat, if needed.

    There are no hard or fast rules regarding how long to use a heating pad on your back. It all depends on the level of pain and your tolerance to heat. Even so, if you use a heating pad on a high setting, remove after 15 to 30 minutes to avoid burns.

    On a low setting, you can use the heating pad for a longer period, maybe up to one hour.

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    When To Use Heat And Ice Therapy For Back Pain

    If you are debating between heat or cold for back pain, sometimes the answer is both. If you are planning to exercise, you can use a combination of heat and ice therapy to help manage any potential back pain.

    Before starting your workout, use a warm compress to help relax the muscles in your back and prepare them for movement. Approximately 10 to 15 minutes of heat therapy is usually adequate.

    After you cool down and stretch, use some cold therapy to help soothe any soreness in your muscles. You can apply the ice pack or cold compress immediately after working out or later in your day.

    Heat Acts As A Soother For Painful Joints

    Mayerâs Best Heating Pads for Back Pain Relief

    Heat also has a very soothing effect on the body and mind. A body which feels cold can quickly tighten up, this often serves to intensify pain. Heat, on the other hand, can provide a calming and comforting effect, as well as bringing a measure of relief to the area of pain.

    Makes Exercise More Possible

    For a person suffering from arthritis, the idea of engaging in exercise can seem like a mission impossible. Granted, the doctor may have told you that it will be of much help, but even the thought of it may make you cringe in pain.

    Again, this is where heat therapy can really come into its own. By applying a heating pad to the area of the body most affected by arthritis it is possible to prepare the body for exercise. The heat can make the body feel more limber and ready for a session of appropriate exercise.

    Using heat in this way can provide a long-term benefit. As the heat therapy helps the person to exercise, their body can become stronger more flexible and ultimately, in less pain.

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    When To Use Heat And When To Use Ice

    Keep in mind that heat isnt recommended for every type of back pain. It can relieve chronic pain and stiffness, such as those associated with arthritis and other muscle or joint ailments.

    However, if your back injury is recent, cold therapy is more effective because it restricts blood vessels and reduces swelling, which can dull pain.

    Use cold therapy for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, and then switch to heat therapy to stimulate blood flow and healing.


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