Selecting the perfect heating pad for your needs is not easy. It’s not like choosing what route you should take while running, rather this can really affect the body in the long run.
There are multiple heating pads in the market out there and we’re going to narrow it down to the different types.
Electric Heating Pads
Varying in multiple sizes, electric heating pads are one of the most common types. They have to be plugged in and are meant to be used for only a certain amount of time. Leaving it for multiple hours will result in potential burns. Relief is only temporary and the heat only travels on the surface of the skin. However they can be used time and time again as long as proper care is maintained.
Microwave Heating Pads
Fast and efficient. Microwave heating pads are simple to use and are made with various materials. In fact, it can also be used as a cooling pad as well. Once you’ve achieved the desired temperature from microwaving it for a certain amount of time, the heating pads get a lot easier to use. The lifespan of a microwave heating pad can be for several months, depending on the amount of care. Just like food, if the pad is left out too long, it will no longer be as hot.
Chemical Heating Pad
Made of sodium acetate and reusable, it’s similar to a microwave heating pad. Heat is produced as a result of a chemical reaction, rather than electricity or another form of energy. Within the pack, there’s an activator that needs to be broken. Once broken, heat is immediately emitted. The product is meant to be boiled after use. Although with constant boiling, the material may deteriorate and the product will no longer be of use.
Infrared Heating Pads
Infrared heating is one of the more advanced heating pads today. Though it’s not a permanent solution, the relief lasts for several hours after single use. The risk of burns is not evident in infrared heating pads, unlike electric ones. However, the cost of infrared heating pads falls on the more expensive side. Despite this, it’s probably a better to invest in a more expensive product that is more high quality.
Neck and Shoulder Heating Pad
There are some products out there geared towards targeting certain areas. Most frequently, we find that the neck and shoulders are the most problematic areas when it comes to pain. If you find yourself wanting a product that will mold to the neck and shoulders, find a heating pad that works for exactly that. It’s an added benefit that it won’t constantly slip around and that it will sit comfortably on the spot.
Heated Mattress Pad
If your type of lifestyle is that you’re always busy and lack the time to sit and relax, the heated mattress is probably your best bet. You can relieve your pain while you sleep. However, it won’t really target many areas and could become problematic. It’s perfect when you come home from a long winter day and relax in your heated bed. Also, there are no extra electricity bills you have to worry about.
Choosing the Right Heating Pad
The solution to your back pain shouldn’t be a hassle. If your injuries are more temporary, perhaps a chemical or microwave heat pack may suit your needs. Infrared heating is best for those who are busy and on the go with long term pain. If you’re on the search with an inexpensive solution to pain, the electric heating pad may be best suited for you.
Once you pick the best one for your needs, make sure that the size will cover the area that is affected by the pain for maximum results.
I’ve Decided My Heating Pad of Choice, Now What?
Once you’ve decided what heating pad is really meant for you and your needs, it’s time to take it to the next step and purchase the right product.
Electric heating pads can be found at Walmart or also on Amazon. They’re one of the cheapest options for heat therapy.
For a microwavable heating pads, they’re available at department stores such as Walmart. Chi Soft also offers a great heating pad that can be purchased here and also doubles as a cooling pack.
Chemical heating pads can be found online and in stores. MEC, an outdoors retail store, offers a chemical heating pad for under $10.
For heating pads that will target the neck and shoulders, you can find them on this site offers a quality neck and shoulder heating pad.
Costco offers a variety of heated mattresses as well as Walmart. It’s highly recommended that you surf the web a little to find your perfect fit.
As for infrared heating packs, this heating pad is probably the most versatile due to its large area. Like mentioned earlier, it does fall on the more expensive side but again it’s better to invest in your health.