If you have read the previous blog To Ice or Not to Ice, That is the Question? then you know that cryotherapy is recommended over applying heat. However, there are some cases where heating pads are safe and recommended to use, with the proper safety measures. It is extremely important to understand the benefits and potential risks of using a heating pad. That’s where we come in.
- Boosts circulation
- Promotes blood and oxygen to flow towards the affected muscles
- Temporarily warms the muscles for better flexibility
- Convenient and portable
- Adjustable levels
There are risks to using heating pads if used incorrectly, for too long a period of time, or in the present of certain elements such as water. It is important to note here that the potential risks depend on the circumstances and quality of the heating pad being used.
- Added blood flow to the area may result in more pain and stiffness later, especially with no movement
- Fire hazard
- May cause burns
- Electrocution may occur
Heating Pad Safety Tips
- Always inspect the heating pad before use – look for frayed wires, holes, or tears.
- Check the environment where using the heating pad – is there water present?
- Always start with the lowest setting and turn up the heat only if needed.
- Place towels between the heating pad and skin to help reduce the risk of burns.
- Only use the heating pad for 15-20 minutes per hour.
- Do not sleep with the heating pad to prevent burning.
- Only use topical rubs or ointments after using the heating pad
- Carefully follow the rules for using a heating pad and carefully examine the pad before each use.
Remember, cold therapy is better, but knowing how to properly operate a heating pad is very important. We want you to Be Safe!
Patient Experience Representative
Sport and Spine Rehab of Landover