Heating therapy has evolved to the point where there are a variety of products on the market, all easily obtainable by anybody who needs it. The type of product varies, as well as the price, temperature settings, and usability. Manufacturers have created different pads for use on different parts of the body, including hands, lower back, shoulder and neck, etc.
You can choose between an electric pad and a portable pad. Each has its uses and advantages. Here is an overview of your options:
Electric Heating Pads
Many of these units are programmable and easy to use. They feature digital readouts that allow you to adjust the heat temperature. It’s ideal that you keep the temperature set on medium, just to be on the safe side. If you do turn it up to a higher temperature, don’t leave it on your skin for very long.
Advantages of an electric heating pad include:
- The ability to control the temperature and set a timer to prevent overheating.
- You won’t have to wait around for it to heat up.
- There are many sizes to choose from, including electric heating blankets that you can wrap completely around you.
- There are infrared heating pas that not only provide pain relief, but improve the immune system and blood circulation as well. Infrared pads block harmful electromagnetic radiations. While more costly than other electric heating pads, many people find them to be the best.
- If you are not careful with electric pads, you could find yourself with a second or even third degree burn.
- You can’t wear them while traveling. This can be an inconvenient if you have a busy schedule.
Portable Heating Pads
These are ideal for individuals who are busy and don’t have the time to sit down and relax with an electric pad. They are available in a variety of forms, ranging from simple hand warmers to lower back pads that slip into belts. Some are reusable and can be reheated.
- There are no cords, wires, or buttons to deal with. If you don’t like dealing with digital devices, this is a great benefit.
- You won’t have to worry about getting burned as much since portable pads don’t stay heated for more than an hour or two at a time, depending on the size.
- Since they are designed for mobility, they are easy to carry around.
- Portable models, including those that can be reused over and over again, tend to be inexpensive compared to electric units.
A couple of downsides to some portable heating pads include:
- They don’t have an automatic turnoff, but this might not be a problem since they don’t stay heated for more than two hours at most anyway.
- Microwavable pads can be an inconvenience in the workplace, car, or other area where there are no microwaves.
The good news is that not all portable pads need to be reheated in the microwave. Some products, such as those offered by Express Heat Therapy, don’t require a microwave. They are also reusable and can last anywhere from 45 minutes (hand warmers) to 2.5 hours (neck/shoulder warmers) at a time.