How To Use Heating Pads Safely
First things first, there are some important tips to know for using heating pads/heat therapy safely. This article covers these tips very well. It also provides a list of conditions you should not use heat for. https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-pain/treating-pain-with-heat-and-cold#heat-therapy
Warning: Don’t put a heating pad onto bare skin, and don’t lie on top of one unless it specifically says it’s designed for that kind of use. Lying on a heating pad increases the likelihood of skin damage. Also, remember it’s just like an electric blanket. There are wires inside that can be broken if it’s bent sharply.
If you have decreased feeling in a body part, use extreme caution with heating pads of any type. Consult your health care provider first.
How to Decide On A Heating Pad
According to Consumer Runner, choosing a heating pad requires that we think about :
1. What we want to use it for ?
2. Do we need specific heat settings?
3. Do we need safety features like automatic shut-off?
What Do We Need The Heat For?
I would also add, that you may not need an electric heating pad. There are a variety of products on the market that can be heated in a microwave oven. Some products stick to the area with adhesives and are one-use only products. An old-fashioned water bottle can also provide heat for a smaller area.
However, one of the benefits of an electric heating pad, is it’s ease of use. If you need heat therapy on a daily basis, it’s so easy to plug it in and then turn it on. You can even leave it in that place afterwards, so it’s ready for the next time. You just need to remember to turn it off if it doesn’t have an automatic shut-off feature.
Based on my experience, if you use heat daily or weekly for pain relief, buy an electric heating pad. If you only need heat therapy rarely, the microwave pads or a hot water bottle will do the job.
Do We Need A Heating Pad With Lots of Settings?
Generally the more heat settings, the more expensive the product will be. If you have any experience with a heated blanket, you can use that to help you decide. For example, when I use my electric blanket, I use the two lowest settings. Any higher, and it’s uncomfortable for me.
If you also don’t like things too hot, a heating pad with fewer settings will probably suffice. If you can tolerate heat, and would use an electric blanket at higher temperatures, you probably want a heating pad with higher settings.
Do We Need Safety Features?
If you are at all forgetful, or tend to fall asleep when using a heating pad, buying a pad with an automatic shut-off is best. One of the differences between the pads on the market is whether they have an automatic shut-off feature or not. The other difference is the length of time they will heat before they turn themselves off.
Moist Heat Vs Dry Heat
According to Healthline, “Moist heat (or “convection heat”) includes sources like steamed towels, moist heating packs, or hot baths. Moist heat may be slightly more effective as well as require less application time for the same result.” Some people love the moist heat packs used in physical therapy offices. If that’s you, you may want a heating pad that uses moist heat.
Your healthcare professional can guide you to the best heat for you: moist or dry.
The Ten Best Heating Pads for 2020
The following link helps you compare side-by-side the ten top-rated heating pads for 2019. Disclaimer: My post does not include any affiliate links. https://www.consumerrunner.com/best-heating-pad/
I hope this post provides you with the information you need to select the best heating product for you. This post is an expansion of a previous post called My Favorite Pain Relief Tools: Part 2. You can read it here: https://upbeatliving.net/favorite-pain-relief-tools-part-2/
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Till next time, Kathy