How to properly use a heating pad

Heating pads are basically used to provide pain relief once applied on different parts of the body. A heating pad can be utilized as a wet therapy or as a dry therapy. If you are not familiar with what dry therapy is all about, it is mainly used for muscle strains as well as minor pains, aches and stiffness. As a basic first aid measure that is commonly performed, it is important that you know how to use one.

Determining the source of pain

Figuring out where the pain originated from can be a difficult task for some. In cases where pain appears to be in the neck, it can actually start or originate in the back. This pain is usually felt in the neck due to the shared pathway of the nerves and the muscles. Take note that heating pads are readily available in different shapes and sizes with their own specific heat settings.

Back pain

Heating pad

For shoulder pain, the individual must lie down flat on his/her back on a firm surface.

When it comes to cases of back pain, the initial first aid measure is to instruct the individual to lie down flat on a firm surface so that the whole back is in contact with the heating pad where the pain radiates from. The suitable heat setting is the highest and do not forget to place a piece of cloth or towel in between the skin and the heating pad to prevent burns.

The individual should lie slowly on the heating pad so that the body will get accustomed to the temperature change. The individual must sit up slightly and stay in that position for about 5 seconds at a time during the initial 2 minutes in order to allow the muscles to absorb the heat properly. It is recommended not to use the heating pad for more than an hour at a time for any injury unless instructed by a doctor.

Shoulder pain

For shoulder pain, the individual must lie down flat on his/her back on a firm surface. The heating pad must be positioned directly on the affected shoulder. If both shoulders are in pain, you can alternate the heating pad between the two shoulders. You have to lift the arms straight for about 15 seconds and allow them to drop. You have to alternate this on every side for the initial 5 minutes during the treatment so that the muscle is properly heated.

General aches and pains

For general aches and pains, they can be treated with a heating pad by applying directly over the affected part not more than an hour at a time. Always remember that the heating pads must not be used if the skin is broken or inflamed. Make sure that you will follow the directions stated by the manufacturer of the specific heating pad you are using to prevent burns or aggravating the injury.