Do’s & Don’ts – Heating Pads
In the modern era, more than half of the population experiences stiff joints, sores muscles, and consequently back pain. While not a cure in itself, a bit of heat therapy can provide instant relief to some degree. When applied to the affected area, a heating pad can considerably increase blood circulation, supplying more oxygen to the trigger points that result in pain.
Although it works effectively towards reducing pain and improving flexibility, there are some safety guidelines to keep in mind, irrespective of the ailment that you are trying to treat. Take a look at some of the Do’s and Don’ts related to heating pads that can really make a difference:
DON’T Use the Heating Pad for Too Long
While you might feel tempted to do so, using the heating pad for too long can result in burns or blisters; an additional source of pain over your already aching muscles. Hence, it is advisable to always place a towel between your back and the heating pad for back pain to protect your skin from the extra heat. Checking your skin for any redness or burns is also advisable.
DO check the product label
Buying a heating pad that’s not certified equals compromising on the pain relief that you wish to achieve. Moreover, a heating pad that’s outdated or is older than 10 years is more likely to catch a fire. Hence, it’s vital to check the product label and ensure it’s up to the mark in terms of quality.
DON’T start with the highest heat setting
Most quality heating pads are equipped with different heat settings. It’s advisable to always begin with the lowest heat setting and gradually increase it as and when required. Sometimes, just a little bit of heat is enough to relieve pain. Hence, it would be unwise to start with a highest heat seeting.
DO Keep the heating pad straight
The internal wires inside the heating pad can get damaged easily if you fold it; it may result in a fire as well. Moreover, folds can trap too much heat. Hence, it’s best to keep the heating pad straight while using it.
DON’T use them on infants or people with poor blood circulation
Since infants won’t be able to inform you in case the heating pad is too hot for them, it’s advisable to avoid it altogether. Additionally, those suffering from diabetes or poor blood circulation must also avoid using heating pads as heat, when applied to a specific body part, can increase the blood flow that can result in inflammation. Consequently, the healing process will slow down and trap the blood in that area further aggravating the circulation problem.
Whether you are a nursing mother suffering from sore muscles and back pain or an athlete with strains and body aches, it’s advisable to keep all the basic medical equipment such as Medela breast pump, heating pads at home to be at your comfortable best! However, follow the safety guidelines to avoid any kind of problems.