By Amy Weldon and Ross Ashcraft
Do you have chronically sore muscles?
Everyone has experienced muscle soreness at some point in their lives. One of the best remedies is heat. When we use heat brings extra blood to the area, loosens
muscles, and can calm the nervous system. Traditionally, we use electrical heating pads, microwaved rice bags, or heated blankets to add that extra heat.
When people tell me they use heating pads for their backs or shoulders, it makes me cringe. They are pulling moisture and salts from their muscles and skin. In the long term, this makes the problem worse. Heating pads are used the most often because they last a long time; and you don’t have to keep
reheating them like a rice bag. I know some people who even sleep with them. Please don’t do that!!! It is a fire hazard and can burn the skin.
In my personal experience I have found that moist heat is the best for the whole body. Moist heat is most commonly utilized through rice or bean bags. But as anyone who has used them can tell you, they are not always practical or versatile.
From my research I have found a solution, a little something called a Thermotech moist heat pack. They have all the convenience of an electric heating pad combined with rice bag and infrared technology. Simply plug in the pack to any outlet and let the Thermotech pull moisture from the surrounding air to heat and soothe tired achy muscles. Finally no more trips to the microwave and no fire hazards. The pads will turn off on their own after a certain amount of time. Here’s a YouTube video that shows how it works.
See my links below to some great prices.
I know the heat feels great, but if you have a seriously painful situation, let’s say something that caused you to say a few colorful sentences. You need to stop and think before automatically applying heat.
1) Torn muscles
The heat could make fibers of the muscle pull even further apart causing more damage. Heat causes the fibers to slip even further apart…which is why it feels relaxing. But if you have already torn it apart should you want the fibers to move even further apart? No! If you think you have torn a muscle, contact a physician before applying heat. When injured, ice is often the safer way to go.
2) Heat is also contraindicated for diabetes, high blood pressure, and some skin infections or disorders.
In the past, when have you applied heat? Did it help? We’d love to hear your comment about your experience with the benefits and pitfalls of HEAT!
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/nwxrtdg
If you would like more info on heat visit these web sites
http://www.battlecreekequipment.com/ faq display.cfm? fid=2
29 thoughts on “The Heat is On!”
I have used heat there for awhile I used it all the time. It stopped working so I quit using it. I did not know that it would cause more damage thank for the tip.
I like to use a steam towel- it is a safe and inexpensive way to quickly relieve soreness. Thank you for mentioning the use of ice when muscles are torn! Often times I see clients who use heating pads when instead they should be using ice. Also, if you use crushed ice, it is not as difficult to stand as using solid cubes.
This such a great blog, I use heating pads a lot specially for my back, and know a lot of people who use them as well
After reading this I’m not gonna be using my heating pad any more. I have left the heating pad on to long before and burnt my back. I will be throwing my heating pad away now that I’ve read this.
I cannot say I have ever used an electrical heating pad-only the rice/bean ones that run out of heat pretty quickly and the old red rubber hot water bottles for an earache or to heat my cold bed! This sounds like a great tool/remedy for those in need of this type of therapy. I think educating your client here is key. Great job Amy!
I have never heard of this heat pack before. I do use heat therapy all the time. I have a rice bag that loses heat pretty quickly though. I might need to invest in this!
Awesome job Amy!!! I have used a heat pack on my back before when it went into spasms, after I got flung into a tree. It helped my muscles stop cringing and let them know that it was okay to loosen up and chill out. I did the heat for 20 minutes, then ice for 20 minutes routine. The ice helped reduce possible swelling and bruising while the heat calmed the muscles. That’s a really cool heat pack you found and I might go buy one in case I get into any heat requiring situations again.
My mother has fibromyalgia and often uses a heating pad to help reduce the pain in her lower back and hip area and has suffered burns several times so I know first hand the dangers of electric heating pads. I personally have never used heat or ice on a personal injury. I have an aversion to extreme temperatures directly on my skin. I always have even since I was a kid. I do however enjoy a very warm bath when Im feeling achy or have an acute injury and it always helps me to relax and begin to recover.
Great blog Amy!! I’m so glad you find an alternative to constantly having to go reheat towels in the microwave. I don’t like to use electric heating pads and reheating towels is such a pain. I may have to investigate this thermotech and invest in one myself.
I use ice for almost all injuries and to reduce inflammation.
I only ever use heat for tight muscles spots that just need to loosen up so I can then stretch and range of motion those parts to a better condition. And often I follow that with Ice.
I also get cold quite often, so sometimes I use a hot pack for comfort rather than treatment. I think that hot pack contains oats which are heated in the microwave.
Meh its some ok information but i dislike the cold so i probably wouldnt ever use these ideas
Wow that is something new I never realized that. I’m going to have to get me a thermotech
Great job Amy!!! I love using heat packs, not only because they work, but also because I’m cold all the time and they keep me warm!!!
The information is fine. I’m just not a big fan of cold. I love heat.
Really good job on the article Amy! I am not a big fan of cold. The information was awesome! Thanks for all your research. I am a corn bag girl. I am going to look for your product!
Thanks for the info. I don’t usually use any kind of heat packs but the one you mentioned sounds great and safe to use!
I’m a summer lover, so I don’t react well to cold. I’d prefer heat over cold any day.
i prefer the contrast therapy take, depending on the situation i use a rice pack and an iced waterbottle in a sock.
That’s some very useful information! I love sleeping on a heating pad and had no idea it wasn’t doing me much good. I’ll have to invest in the safer and more productive product you’ve shown, because my heating pad is usually my best friend. Time to get the right friend! Thanks Amy and Ross.
I’m pretty much addicted to my heating pad. I will defiantly find an alternative. I didn’t realize it was dehydrating my muscles.
I never knew using heating pads was a bad thing. They’re usually my best friend! I’m defiantly going to have to invest in the right heating pad. I’m known for sleeping with one all night long and never would’ve dreamed about doing research to see the negative effects of a heating pad. Thanks Amy and Ross! I’ll be sure to correct that problem asap.
“Such a hot blog”
I like to apply ice or cold water to my body than apply heat for less than 2min and repeat. Example: I take a hot/cold shower in the morning, not only it wakes me up but it’s great for my circulation! I only ever apply heat for tight muscles just so I can loosen them up before working out.
Love lev love heat packs, great blog Amy!
I love heat but I guess it is time and place for it.
Great blog! I never thought about how heat packs and rice packs like that cause the moisture to draw from the skin!
Great information! Makes me think twice before applying heat to an area that can be harmful depending on the situation.
Great information! I personally love heat on my back when I’m getting a massage. Thanks for the info!
Great information! I will have to try the moist heat pack sometime. I love heat packs makes me fall asleep every time I receive a massage.
I find heat helpful in loosening my muscles, specifically my lower back. A trick I have used for daily stretching is in the shower. Making the water as hot as I can stand and letting the water run over my back, then after a few minutes stretching my lower back. I find it is much less painful, and makes it so much easier.
Several of my family members have used dry heat for years. As soon as I learned of its consequence, they all got an ear full!