Heating pads are great because they provide that nice, soothing warmth which reduces back pain and muscle aches all over your body. It is proven that the impact of heat on pain is real. In fact, studies have shown that heat receptors located at the area of pain blocks chemical messengers that tell your brain that there’s pain! So in a way, heat acts like an OTC painkiller, deactivating pain at the molecular level within our body.
If you are a fan of the good ‘ole heating pad, or if you are looking to buy one to relieve your back pain, you’ll need to be aware of some of their limitations. In fact, these limitations can be quite dangerous. And that being said, be aware of the following when looking to buy a new heating pad …
Cheap and Low-Quality
When buying heating pads, the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings very true. Why? Because cheap, low-quality heating pads don’t work all the time, has the potential to burn you, and only work on the surface of the skin. So once the heating pad is turned off, your pain comes back since there were no deep penetration of heat into your skin due to the conventional heat that’s generated. And another issue with cheap heating pads are that they can be a fire hazard since they are known to cause electrical shorts due to defective power chords, bad design and just poor manufacturing.
No Heat Settings
This is bad. Without any settings to adjust the heat from your heating pad, you are just asking from trouble. Bottom line, the heat can get very hot and burn your skin!
EMFs (i.e., electromagnetic fields) can be generated from electric heating pads. That could be potentially bad news since there’s been research findings suggesting that EMFs could negatively affect body functions, weaken our immune systems, and even cause cancer.
One of the characteristics of cheap, low-quality heating pads are that they are not flexible. Since they are made with stiff material, it’s pretty much an impossibility to wrap the heating pad around those areas you want to treat.
Manual Power-Off Switch
Heating pads, believe it or not, are common sources of fires at home. And it’s due to individuals falling asleep with the heating pad turned on. And if your heating pad can only be turned off manually via a switch, then you know why it’s so dangerous to be using it while you fall asleep!
Next blog post I will talk about what features to look for in a heating pad. Until next time, take care!