Heating Pads for Back Pain
It's all too easy to experience back pain while going about your regular routine. Back pain is common and very inconvenient. As part of the healing process, your doctor or health care provider might recommend heat therapy to help relieve sore muscles or spasms. At Walgreens, we have an assortment of heating pads for back pain that are specifically designed to be used on this broad area of your body.
Heat vs Cold Therapy
When you sustain a minor injury or suffer from sore muscles, it can be difficult to figure out whether to use heat therapy or cold therapy for symptom relief.
In general, experts recommend cold packs or ice for acute injuries because it helps reduce swelling.
Heat, on the other hand, draws more blood to the area where it is applied. The increased blood flow may help decrease chemicals like lactic acid and provide pain relief for tight muscles or chronic soreness. As heat relaxes muscles, it can also help put a halt to the spasms that contribute to pain. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned that an injury might be severe or if you have pain that lasts for more than a few days.
Types of Heating Pads for Back Pain
In general, you'll be able to choose between a few different types of heating pads to help relieve back pain--those activated by the air, microwavable varieties, and products powered by electricity.
- Air-activated heating pads for a sore back are akin to large versions of hand-warmers. They are filled with compounds that naturally react by getting hot when they are exposed to oxygen.
- Microwavable heating pads are often filled with rice or natural beads that retain heat long after they are taken out of the microwave.
- Electric heating pads contain a series of wires that heat up when they are plugged in and transmit heat through a flame-retardant cover. Some electric heating pads also have the option of being used with a moist liner that allows them to deliver a wetter heat.
To reduce the risk of burns, heating pads should never be used in direct contact with your skin.