Heating pads come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and types.

You can find them on the market at just about any retail store, online or pharmacy. Whether you’re looking for a chemical, electric, or hot water bottle type, they are all pretty easy to find. But, before you go out buying just any old heating pad, you need to decide on which type of heating pad you need. This article will give you some information to help you decide on your next purchase.

What Are Heating Pads?

A heating pad is designed to help to relieve pain in different areas of the body. The heating pad can be used as a dry therapy or a wet therapy, depending upon your need, and one that offers both is always a better buy.

Chemical Heating Pads are typically packets that are filled with a type of warming chemical inside the pack that must be cracked upon and mixed with heat. The heat will only last as long as the chemical stays warm.

Electrical Heating Pads are flexible fabric-covered pads containing electrical heating elements with a removable fabric cover. They are usually plugged into a wall outlet and are used to apply heat to the body to treat sore muscles or joints. They typically have temperature and timer controls or automatic shut-offs. Many of them offer moist and dry heat therapy and are reusable.

Hot Water Heating Pads are made of a rubbery type material that can be filled with hot water. There are many that can be refillable and reusable. The heat only lasts as long as the water stays hot, then it must be refilled with more hot water.


Why Use Electric Heating Pads?

After a long, stressful day, it’s natural for many of us to experience stiffness or soreness around the neck and shoulders. If the stiffness is left untreated, this tightness can cause tension build-up, muscle pain, and headaches to occur.

Heat therapy is known to increase the blood flow to the sore areas of your body. This causes muscles to relax quicker and the healing process to happen faster. With a better blood flow to the sore area, you get more oxygen and nutrient to the muscle and soft tissue, and the built-up acids are carried away. Heat therapy is a proven tension and pain reliever that increases the blood flow and relaxes tight, aching muscles.

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Are There Risks in Using a Heating Pad?

There are always risks when using any type of heat. Heating pads can cause harm or burns to the skin if the user does not follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of injury and death from burns, electric shocks, and fires associated with the use of heating pads. Incidents have occurred in nursing homes, hospitals and at home.  The majority of these, however, are caused by the misuse of the heating pad or using a damaged heating pad. Taking care of your heating pad and applying it correctly can avoid any injury.

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