A heating pad is used for pain, serving as a warming vessel to ease pain in various areas of your body. Sometimes, your muscles get strained and so the tension builds up. Tension constricts blood circulation, which leads nerve endings to transmit pain signals to your brain.
Local application of heat through heating pads dilates the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and flexibility of soft tissues. The increased blood flow provides more oxygen to help heal damaged muscle tissues.
Shopping for heating pads can be quite tricky because of the different brands and types available in the market. Check out a review of some of the top heating pads that have gotten the thumbs-up from various users.
Buying Guide for Heating Pads
For most people suffering from a sports injury or other forms of injury, healthcare experts recommend the use of heat. Basically, heat should be applied over the injured area, nowadays this is done through the use of an electric heating pad. The use of an electric heating pad can offer balanced, even heat to painful and stressed body parts in a secure and efficient manner.
When using one, it is plugged into a wall socket, and upon turning on will start to heat up. Due to technological advancements, there are different kinds of electric heating pads available on the market. Depending on the demands of the consumer, like size and specific uses, the types of electric heating pads tend to vary.
An electric heating pad is very versatile and can be used on any part of the body. In order to soothe muscle pains and other injuries with electric heating pads, the heat pad should be applied to the stressed area for about 20-30 minutes. Typically, a regular electronic heating pad applied gently to the stressed area like the lower back or the neck can provide immediate pain relief. There are some pads which can provide a range of heat settings and some only provide one type of setting.
What to look For in a Heating Pad
1. Temperature Control
The first thing to look for in electric heating pads is their temperature control. Ideally, there should be low, medium and high settings. Temperature control can help adjust the heat of the pad which makes it even more soothing.
2. automatic shut-off
Additionally, an automatic shut-off should also be considered prior to shopping for heating pads. This is very important since an automatic shut-off feature can help avoid problems. For instance, even when the user has fallen asleep, there’s no need to worry about the pad overheating. The shut-off system will prevent this.
The application of heat is particularly helpful in cases of lower back pains and muscle spasms. People usually suffer from these injuries due to straining, fatigue and even over-exertion. The most practical and immediate solution is heat therapy.
As experts put it, the application of heat increases the flow of blood in the vessels which consequently provides an extremely relaxing feeling. Aside from that, heat therapy also tends to relax both muscles and tissues of the injured or stressed part. An electric heating pad is a necessity if you are looking for a natural method to ease that pain away.
4 Popular Types of Heating Pads
1. Hot Water Heating Pads
Hot water heating pads are made of durable material that heat up water to create the heat to help ease the pain. There are many forms of hot water heating pads. The most common hot water heating pads are ones that are the size of a bed. These hot water heating pads are made to keep your bed warm.
The water is circulated throughout an enclosed area where the water heats up and circulates. The circulation and heating element keep the heating pad warm. This way if you are in a cold weather climate you can stay toasty warm all through the winter.
There are also smaller hot water heating pads that can be used for small injuries. Some hot water heating pads have master controllers. You can control the amount of heat the heating pads puts off.
The hot water heating pad is one option to help relieve pain that you are having. There are other heating pads that might work better for you.
2. Electrical Heating Pads
An electrical heating pad is a rectangular fire resistant plastic pad that has electrical heating elements inside. The heating pad sits inside a sleeve that is usually plush on the outside so it feels soft to the touch.
Various other fabrics are used for the covering the heating pads, but the plush covers are the latest trends in heating pad covers. Many people really love the plush covers. The heating pad also has a master controller.
The controller is somewhere near the pad where the electrical line runs into it. The controller allows you to control the amount of heat your heating pad puts off. The surface of the pad heats up and allows you to get heat to a specific area on your body.
Electrical heating pads are good to wrap around for arms and legs in the event of pain. You can also lay the electrical heating pad across your back, and your chest.
3. Chemical Heating Pads
Exothermic Sodium Acetate is the chemical used in most of the chemical heating pads. The way a chemical heating pad works is there is a disc or something similar in a very well-sealed pouch you would push or break to activate the heat in the pouch.
As the name says, the heating pad uses a chemical to start the heat where you need it. If you are a skier, you may have experienced chemically induced heat in the form of glove warmers. A Chemical heating pad is perfect when you do not have an electrical source.
It is also perfect for small areas like pockets and gloves. You will need to be extra careful when using or disposing of chemical heating pads. If you puncture the pads the chemical can harm your skin, clothing, or bags.
A chemical heating pad is the type of heating pad you can take with you when you do not have any electrical outlets to plug a heating pad into. A down side of a chemical induced heat in a pad is it will only be able to heat a small area.
There is always a time and a place for needing a small non-electric heat source. A chemical heat source is just the type of heating pad for this purpose. If you live up north, it is not bad idea to keep a few chemical heating pads in the event of losing power in your house. You could also stash a couple in the glove compartment of your car.
4. Microwaveable Heating Pad
Microwaveable heating pads are pouches that are sealed but consist of material that can safely be warmed up in the microwave. The best heating pad for your pain is a microwaveable heating pad.
You put the pad into the microwave for a couple of minutes and then it from the microwave. You place the heating pad on the specific area of injury or pain. The microwaveable heating pad is good as it will deliver instant relief to your pain.
Microwaveable heating pads are perfect for having a heating pad in parts of your house that do not reach with an electrical cord. The most common use of this heating pad is when people have shoulder or leg pain. They throw the microwaveable pack in the microwave and then relax on the couch or bed with their heating pad.
Microwaveable heating pads can also be used for travel as well. They do not take up a lot of space and there are usually microwaves in most hotel rooms.
These are the best heating pads available on the market, and you need to decide on which one of these heating pads will work best for you. In some cases, your doctor will recommend which one of these heating pads will best help your pain.
To help your decision along, you can take into consideration these points. Do you want a heating pad that has a specific surface area? Is it more important that your heating pad does not have to be attached to the wall?
Do you want a heating pad that provides you with continuous heat? The best one of these heating pads for you is going to provide you with the help you need for your pain relief.
So, look at each heating pad and choose the one that fits your needs. If there is not one that fits all your needs, then go ahead purchase two. You cannot put a price on helping to reduce your pain. Pretty much of these heating pads are good about delivering heat fast. It is more of matter of you choosing the size and kind of heating pad that will provide for you the best.
Go ahead and choose which one of these heating pads today, and stop suffering in pain when healing is just a click away.