The aches and pain that you may feel all over your body may sometimes feel like you need medication to relieve it. While a combination of medication and other remedies might help you, there's something even more simple that you might not have considered: heat. Heat therapy is a common method of relieving common aches and pains within your body, especially for anything relating to the muscles.
This article is going to explore the science behind heating pads for chronic and acute pain relief as well as the benefits that they can bring you in your daily life. So let's explore the wonders of heating pads and which are the best microwavable heating pad for pain relief that you can get your hands on.
Importance of Heating Pads in Pain Treatment and Relief
Heat therapy has played an important part in pain treatment and relief for hundreds of years. There are whole medical treatments and remedies with a focus on heat (and cold) to help relieve pain, improve health, and improve lives. The tools and methods of treatment have improved over the years, with today seeing tools such as pain relief heating pads and such incredible technologies such as microwavable heating pads. With such tools being introduced and used throughout the years, it's clear to see how important the science behind heat therapy is.
The Science Behind Microwavable Heating Pads
So heat has incredible benefits for the human body, but what exactly is the science behind it all? Together we'll explore the way heat therapy works, how microwavable pads work, and how heat effects the body.
Heat therapy and its benefits
Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy, is when heat is used in therapeutic methods to relieve pain and improve health. Heat therapy can be in the form of hot cloths, saunas, hot water bottles, baths, electric heating pads, and, in this case, microwavable heating pads.
Heat therapy has many benefits, including the following:
- Pain relief
- Better sleep
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced symptoms of depression
- Reduced allergy symptoms
How microwavable heating pads work
Microwavable heating pads, like those Warmies offers, are filled with microwavable filling that retains heat for periods of 30 minutes to a few hours. Most microwavable heating pads on the market are filled with polyfill plastic beads. This material gives the pad some weight, but plastic can leach toxins when microwaved.
Warmies brand microwavable pads are filled with natural flax fibers that retain heat better than any plastic beads. They are also filled with natural lavender that releases a relaxing aroma that aides in stress relief. All that needs to happen is you place the pad in the microwave and heat it for no more than one minute. After that, you place it on the affected area and enjoy soothing relief.
Understanding the effects of heat on the body
Heat increases the overall temperature of the skin and joints which helps with your sensitivity to the pain in the affected area. Heat also dilates the blood vessels which improves blood circulation to tissue and muscles, decreasing overall stiffness.
Other effects of heat on the body include:
- Lessen nerve sensitivity
- Increases metabolism
- Relaxes the muscles
- Increases overall muscle flexibility
Benefits of Microwavable Heating Pads
There are clearly a great amount of benefits to using heat as a pain relief tool, but what about the benefits of using microwavable heating pads as opposed to other heat therapy methods? Let's get into them.
Natural and non-invasive pain relief
What makes heating pads to popular is that they are easy to get and use. There's no need for a prescription, a doctor's visit, or any sort of procedure to enjoy the pain relieving qualities that these pads offer. You can use them any time of day and not feel like it's intruding on your lifestyle.
Targeted relief for specific areas of the body
Many heating pads out there can be rather large and inflexible, making targeted pain relief difficult to achieve. Most microwavable heating pads are flexible in nature and can be used for any part of the body due to their overall size. Their filling and construction material allows them to adjust to the natural curves and bends of your body. You can use them on your neck, arms, shoulders, wrists, and any part of your body that is experiencing pain.
Versatility and availability of different shapes and sizes
There are a variety of microwavable heating pads on the market, each varying in size, color, and shapes. Warmies offers it's own variety that caters to the specific needs you have. If you want a pad that is small and portable, or colorful and cute, or just simple to use, you can find them. The pads that Warmies has to offer can also be stuck in the freezer for cold therapy, in addition to being microwavable.
Reusability and cost-effectiveness
Microwavable heating pads are incredibly cost-effective, so long as you have a microwave. You won't have to worry about replacing any batteries within the pad and can reheat and reuse the pad whenever and however you like. All a microwavable heating pad will cost you is the first initial cost of purchasing the product.
Convenience and ease of use
Finally, microwavable heating pads are simple and convenient to use. All that's required is a capable microwave. Stick the pad in there for a minute or two and you're done. There's also no need to be stuck in one place, unlike with traditional plug-in heating pads. You can take the pad with you wherever you go and not be tethered to an electrical outlet.
Selecting the Right Microwavable Heating Pad
So how do you know which type of microwavable heating pad will be right for you? There are certainly lots of factors to consider before making a decision. Let's see what you need to keep in mind before making the leap to a portable heating pad for pain relief.
Material considerations for optimal heat retention
While it may not seem important, the material in which the pad is made from and filled with matters a great deal in the overall heat retention. As mentioned earlier, most microwavable heating pads are filled with plastic beads. A Warmies pad, however, is filled with natural flax fibers that actually retain heat better than most other materials out there. Warmies pads are also made from plush cotton material that is cozy to the touch.
Choosing the appropriate size and shape
The best portable heating pad for pain relief will be small and regular-shaped. These two things make transport easier and versatile for easier placement on the body. Sometimes you might not want something that is small, however, and need a larger pad that helps cover a larger area of your body. Make sure you choose a product that will fit your most immediate needs.
Safety features to prevent burns
Safe and proper use of the pad will help prevent burns and damages. Most electrical pads on the market have an automatic turn-off feature that helps you control the heat. Microwavable pads do not have that feature and will require you to be vigilant on how long you microwave your pad for. Microwavable pads, however, do eventually lose their heat after a few hours. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to safely use the pad.
Comfort and design for a pleasant experience
The overall design of the pad you choose may also play an important role. You may want one that has a cute design, color, or shape. Warmies offers a variety of heating pads that are cute, cozy, and fun, all the while offering the many benefits of heat therapy.
Common Applications and Pain Management
There are all sorts of conditions and ailments that can be remedied with the use of a microwavable heating pad. Check them out below.
Muscle tension and soreness
Muscle tension and aches can be relieved with the help of better blood circulation. Heat helps dilate the blood vessels which help blood flow faster the affected muscles and joints.
The uterus is simply one large muscle that contracts during the menstrual cycle, causing discomfort and pain. The use of a Warmies heating pad or Menstruation Crustacean can help ease the pain and make the menstrual cycle more bearable.
Arthritis and joint pain
Arthritis, which is the inflammation of the joints, can be helped with heat therapy. Heat helps reduce inflammation thus reducing the overall pain in the affected areas.
Back and neck pain
Heating pad for neck pain relief
Sports injuries and post-workout recovery
Stiffness in the muscles caused by sports injuries and exercise is commonly treated with heat and cold therapy. Immediate injuries can be helped with cold and more chronic conditions with heat.
Tips for Using Microwavable Heating Pads Safely and Effectively
Proper heating times and temperature limits
In order to prevent damage to your health and skin, microwavable heating pads should not be heated up in the microwave for more than a minute (depending on manufacturer instructions and microwave strength). You should also only use the pad on pained areas for a range of 10 to 20 minutes. Too much heat and time can cause mild burns.
Precautions for sensitive skin and certain medical conditions
If you have sensitive skin or certain medical conditions, be sure to consult your primary care physician before using the pad. Certain skin sensitivities can be handled by using the pads in short increments of 5 to 10 minutes in order. Other more severe sensitivities and conditions will need to be addressed by your doctor, such as those who are pregnant, have diabetes, or those with circulatory problems.
Using covers for hygiene and comfort
In order to keep your microwavable heating pad clean and comfortable for multiple uses, consider using a cover for use and storage. Depending on the size of your pad, you can place it within a small pillowcase before using it on your body. This way you keep any sort of debris and sweat from making the pad unclean.
If the pad does become dirty, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to properly clean it. For example, Warmies states that you should only use a clean damp cloth to spot clean the pad. Never submerge them in water or place in the dryer. Doing this will harm the filling and make the pad unusable.
Combining heat therapy with other pain management techniques
Heat therapy can be more beneficial to you when combined with other pain relief techniques. Regular exercise can help your overall health as well as increase blood flow. Just be sure not to overexert the pained areas. You can also use over-the-counter pain medication in moderation to help the pain relief process. Just be sure to use the heating pad in short increments, not exceeding 20 minutes of use at a time.
Heat therapy, such as microwavable heating pads, have innumerable benefits on the human body such as pain relief, better blood circulation, and more. There's also the various benefits that using microwavable pads have, such as their overall versatility and various designs that keep you comfortable and interested. It's clear that with the right selection of a heating product to aide in your pain relief will amount to incredible benefits and comfort to your everyday life. If you wish to explore the natural pain relief choices that Warmies has to offer, come explore here.