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How To Use A Heating Pad For Back Pain

Always Start On The Lowest Setting

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

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.

When To Use Caution

Paraffin wax treatments supply moist heat but overheating can cause burns.

Use caution on areas with decreased sensation if you have neuropathy or Raynauds syndrome. Extreme temperatures can damage skin.

Wonder if its safe to use ice when youre burning up with fever? Theres nothing wrong with using cold to bring down a fever, says Dr. Kriegler.

When You Should Avoid A Heat Therapy

If your back is bruised or swollen, you should avoid heat pads as heat therapy. You should apply ice to the area instead. Also, avoid using heat pads on your back if you have existing conditions such as hypertension and heart disease. It may also include diabetes, dermatitis, and open wounds that should not use heat pads in their lower backs.

Heated pads are one of the best solutions for lower back pain rather than taking medications that can cost you money. Medication can also provide adverse effects, but for heat therapy, once used correctly, it can effectively relieve the pain. So, we hope that the guides above are helpful for you.

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Heating Pads Are A Blessing In Disguise

MIGHTY BLISS Large Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps Relief, $28.95 at Amazon

In my 30 years of life, I’ve owned and used a lot of heating pads. When I lived with my parents, my sister and I used to fight over the family heating pad. I eventually bought my own, because my sister is scary and won most of those fights.

For a good 10+ years, I had constant pain from the tension that my bra put on my upper back and neck, and I used a heating pad to relieve it. A few years ago, I wound up getting reduction surgery, which totally eliminated my need for a heating pad for my neck.

Even with that particular problem solved, heading pads are still important to me. Bodies change over time: I am older and aches and pains are more common now than they were when I was 18. Sometimes my lower back hurts after I do a few loads of laundry. I also began to get horrible menstrual cramps a year ago, and a heating pad is the only thing that helps.

I wound up finding out that the cramps were due to a medical issue that required surgery, but even though my surgery was a few months ago, I still have residual pain and cramping during my period. They’re nothing like they were before, but a heating pad is still very necessary for a few days each month.

I got a chance to test out the Mighty Bliss heating pad, and it is my new best friend. Like I said, I’ve used a lot of heating pads in the last few decades and I can see why this is a #1 best seller on Amazon.

How To Safely Apply Ice And Heat

Cura Heat Pads For Back &  Shoulder Pain Relief ...

You can apply ice and heat in lots of ways. Our experts generally recommend up to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off:

  • Ice packs: Frozen peas or corn, ice cubes in a baggie or frozen gel pack. You can ice beyond 48 hours, until swelling, tenderness or inflammation are gone.
  • Ice massage: Freeze water in a Dixie cup, peel back the top, and massage the tender area until its numb. .
  • Cold masks: Place a cold mask, available at drugstores, over your eyes or lay a towel soaked in cold water over your forehead and temples.
  • Moist heat: Enjoy a bath, shower, hot tub or whirlpool using warm, not hot, water .
  • Heat wraps: Drape a heat wrap, available at drugstores, around your neck like a scarf .
  • Heating pads: To avoid burns, remove heating pads if the area becomes uncomfortably warm.

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Heating Pads For Back Pain

It’s all too easy to experience back pain while going about your regular routine. Back pain is common and very inconvenient. As part of the healing process, your doctor or health care provider might recommend heat therapy to help relieve sore muscles or spasms. At Walgreens, we have an assortment of heating pads for back pain that are specifically designed to be used on this broad area of your body.

Range Of Lower Back Problems That Can Benefit From Heat And Cold Therapy

Heat and /or cold therapy is beneficial either as a primary or adjunctive therapy, but people often overlook this treatment because its simple, inexpensive, and readily available. The following common lower back conditions may benefit from heat or cold therapy:

  • Lower back pain from common conditions, such as herniated or degenerated discs, spinal stenosis , or spondylolisthesis

    Read more about Causes of Lower Back Pain

  • Direct lower back injury from falls, sprains, sports injuries , or collisions1
  • Pulled back muscle due to excessive strain or force leading to overstretching of the muscle fibers, such as from lifting weights1

    See Pulled Back Muscle Treatment

  • Exercise-induced muscle soreness, such as a from trying a new exercise, exercising without an initial period of warming up, or overdoing a specific exercise1

Always use heat and cold therapy intermittently, for 15 to 20 minutes, with a 2-hour break in between to avoid skin and nerve damage.

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Tips To Combine Heat And Cold Therapy In Your Daily Routine

Here are a few tips to help you incorporate the use of heat and/or cold therapy in your everyday activities:

  • Keep a heat patch near your beduse it first thing in the morning to warm up your muscles if you wake up with an achy or stiff back
  • Apply a cold patch before bed if you have exercised or exerted your back
  • Use heat therapy before sleeping and after waking up if you have chronic back pain
  • Carry a couple of self-activating heat patches and ice packs in your bag or car to use while driving or at work

You are more likely to benefit from heat and cold therapy when you make these treatments a part of your daily routine.

The Amount Of Heat That You Need

Heating Pad For Back Pain, Benefits of electrical heating pad for Knee pain, NECK & SHOULDER PAIN

Before we move on how to apply the heat pad through your lower back, you need to know the best temperature first. Preferably, the best heat therapy is at a warm temperature. If too high, well, it can burn your skin and will only cause injury. By using warm temperature, it will allow the heat to penetrate down through the lower muscles without causing your skin to burn.

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Best Overall: Pure Enrichment Purerelief Heating Pad

  • Neck portion doesnt get as warm

  • Taller people say its too small

Struggling with aches and pain all over your body? Well, we have a solution for you. The Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad is not only wearable, but it can cover large areas of the bodysuch as the back, neck, abdomen, and legs. All it takes is wrapping the heating pad on whatever area is causing you pain to experience swift relief.

Not only does the heating pad provide flexibility for how you wear it, but it also can be set at four different temperatures to best suit your needs. The four settings, ranging from 110 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, quickly soothe aches with the press of a button. The heating pads cover is also machine-washable and comes with an extra-long cord.

Charge Type: Plug-in heating pad | Areas Targeted: Neck, back, and shoulders

  • One-time use only

Looking for a holistic, electricity-free option? The Natural Herbal Heating Patch is a hot patch that just needs to be peeled and placed over the undergarments for six hours of relief. Its lightweight design remains discreet under your clothes as you go about your day, and it works to encourage blood flow and muscle relaxation. The patch also offers more than just heat, featuring natural herbs like the antimicrobial lemon balm, circulation-boosting rose hip, calming jasmine, anti-inflammatory juniper berry, and digestion-promoting dandelion root.

Charge Type: N/A | Areas Targeted: Abdominal area

How Heat Therapy Relieves Pain

The use of heat on the affected area can provide relief in a lot of ways. First, it can dilate the blood vessels in the muscles that are around your lumbar spine. This helps in increasing the oxygen flow, and the nutrients can easily get to your muscles so the damaged tissues will heal faster.

Another thing that it can do is that it can stimulate your skin sensory receptors. Therefore, the pain signals that are sent to your brain are decreased, which helps in relieving your discomfort. Furthermore, it can aid in stretching the soft tissue surrounding your spine. This also includes the connective tissues, adhesions, and muscles.

In this way, the stiffness that you are feeling is decreased. At the same time, it can help with your flexibility, and of course, your comfort. A good thing to note is that heat therapy is extremely effective when paired with other treatments, such as exercise and physical therapy.

This type of therapy is also the one that is favored by most people because you do not need any pharmaceutical forms, and it is non-invasive. You can simply just take a hot bath or apply a heat source on the area. This is the reason why using a heating pad is ideal as it was designed to be used for this specific purpose.

Also Check: What Causes Sharp Back Pain In The Lower Back

When Ice Therapy Is Not The Answer

As with heat therapy, there are times when it can be tempting to slap a bag of ice on any sore or twitching muscle. But doing ice therapy for back spasm and a number of other problems can actually do more harm than good.

You should not ice for:

  • General muscle pains
  • Trigger points
  • Reducing body fat

Also, this is pretty intuitive, but you should not apply ice if youre already shivering.

Another word to the wiseyou may think you have pulled or strained a muscle in the back or neck, but actual tissue damage is quite rare. The tissue of the back is really thick and it takes a lot of forcelike whiplash from a car accident or lifting something very heavyto actually tear muscles.

So when it comes to answering the questionwhats good for back pain, heat or cold?heat usually wins out.

And if you indeed have a back strain from lifting or something else, you should only apply ice for a few days and then switch to heating pads.

Ice Or Heat For Back Pain

Yuwell Heating Pad Belt Lower Back Relax Lumber Electric ...

30-Second Blog Snapshot:

  • Conservative therapies, such as hot or cold packs, exercising, and over-the-counter pain relievers may help mitigate pain in between interventional pain treatments.
  • Patients hoping to relieve low back pain with a heat or ice pack may be confused about which one to use for their pain.
  • At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, Utahs leading pain management group, physicians explain the difference between ice and heat packs for back pain.

Although ice and heat can be beneficial at relieving certain musculoskeletal pains, there are instances where one should be used over the other. A great rule of thumb to follow may be this: ice is for injuries heat is for muscle pain. Well elaborate:

Ice Is For Injuries

When you sustain any injury of any kind, your body responds by inflaming or swelling its tissues to prevent infectious agents and other debris from impeding recovery. Although this inflammatory process is completely normal, it can be incredibly painful depending on the cause or condition of your injury. Therefore, its important to apply ice to your injury not just to calm swelling, but to also reduce pain. Nevertheless, there are certain situations ice should be avoided and that is when your muscles are sore or stressed. Ice can cause severe trigger points and spasms to develop when its applied to sore muscles, which leads us to our next point: heat is for muscle pain.

Heat Is For Muscle Pain

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Home Heat Therapy Instructions

Before we describe the two common methods of using a heating pad at home, here are the basic instructions to using home heat therapy.

Apply to affected area for NO LONGER than 15 minutes. Use a layer of towels between your skin and the heating pad. Remove for at least 1 hour then repeat. 2-3 applications a day is advisable. Dry electric heating pads are not recommended.

Best Wearable: Iteknic Heating Pad

Multitaskers will be obsessed with this wearable heating pad shaped like a medieval vest. The unique shape is comical, but it allows you to simultaneously soothe your neck, shoulders, and back in just one dry heat treatment. Youll have the choice of 6 different heat settings on the LED controller, which all run automatically for 2 hours. Better yet, the soft flannel is machine-washable.

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Use A Travel Heating Pad

My trainer recommended using a traditional heating pad at home, but it turns out some TFG readers also use them while traveling.

Just because youre on a flight doesnt mean you cant use a heating pad as many plane seats now have outlets. One reader says, Ive used an actual plug-in heating padI just check ahead of time to see if my flights has plugs. Worked like a dream!

This heating pad is great because its machine washable so you can keep it clean throughout your travels. Plus, the magnetic front closure provides a custom fit that securely increases contact with the treatment area. The snaps closure offers adjustability and a comfortable fit.

Perhaps the best alternative to traditional plug-in heating pads issingle-use heat pads.

Sunbeam Heating Pad For Pain Relief Xl King Size

Softheat heating pad for relieving light muscle pain

This Sunbeam option is in the running for the best heating pad, based on Amazon customers’ feedback. One of the bestselling heating pads on the site, it’s earned 4.6 stars from more than 46,000 reviews. One side of the heating pad is covered in micro-plush fabric and the other a soft polyester fabric. You can use it dry or spray the fabric with water before use for moist heat therapy.

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Types Of Heating Pads For Back Pain

In general, you’ll be able to choose between a few different types of heating pads to help relieve back pain–those activated by the air, microwavable varieties, and products powered by electricity.

  • Air-activated heating pads for a sore back are akin to large versions of hand-warmers. They are filled with compounds that naturally react by getting hot when they are exposed to oxygen.
  • Microwavable heating pads are often filled with rice or natural beads that retain heat long after they are taken out of the microwave.
  • Electric heating pads contain a series of wires that heat up when they are plugged in and transmit heat through a flame-retardant cover. Some electric heating pads also have the option of being used with a moist liner that allows them to deliver a wetter heat.

To reduce the risk of burns, heating pads should never be used in direct contact with your skin.

*The total item count is approximate. The count will be inaccurate when sponsored products are displayed, when multiple sizes or colors of a product are grouped on a single product card, and when the in-stock filter is applied.

Best For Feet: Serta Ultra Soft Plush Electric Heated Warming Pad

If you hate sitting around with cold feet, we have a solution. Not only does this heating pad have material that feels super soft on skin, but reviewers love its simple and flat design with a deep pocket, to slip your feet into while sleeping. With a handful of colors to choose from, this machine-washable pick is bound to become a bedroom staple.

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Why Choose Xirgs Heating Pad

  • XIRGS heating pad is suitable for relieving back pain and cramps. It can also relieve shoulder, neck, spine, waist, abdomen, knee pain and muscle aches, as well as menstrual discomfort.
  • The electric heating pad can be used for dry and moist heat therapy. The heating pad heats up quickly and can quickly relieve physical discomfort.
  • 10 Temperature settings. You can adjust the temperature easily to accommodate your comfort level.
  • 9 Timers Auto Shut-off. Within10mins~90mins auto shut off to prevent yourself from forgetting to turn off the power and help avoid overheating.
  • Made of soft Flannel, it can take good care for your delicate skin. The heating pad is easy to take care of, it is washable.
  • Large heating pad, 12″ x 24″ large size can full body cover, and 9 Ft extra-long line can be more convenient for you to control.

Whats Behind Your Back Pain

9 Easy Ways to Apply Heat to an Arthritic Joint

Usually, back pains are caused by overexertion or muscle strain. This pain happens especially on your lower back when the muscles and the soft tissues create tension on the lower spine. In the process, there is no proper circulation, and this will send a pain signal to your brain.

More often than not, it is also accompanied by muscle spasms. This can be felt as anything from mild discomfort to excruciating pain. Therefore, you need an external source to relieve these spasms and to make sure that the tightness goes away.

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