If you are a serious athlete or otherwise very active, you may have grown very fond of the heating pad. While heating pads are wonderful, there are some precautions you should keep in mind when using them. Whether you are using a microwavable heating pad or an electric one, you need to know how to use them safely. Here are some heating pad tips:
Don’t Fall Asleep With A Heating Pad
Heating pads are so comforting after a long day of working your muscles. You may be tempted to cozy up in your bed with your heating pad and fall asleep. This is usually okay if you are using a microwavable heating pad, since it gradually cools off. However, if you are using an electric heating pad, it can be dangerous to use it while drowsy. While the heat doesn’t seem too hot at first, as time goes on the heat will continue to warm your skin as you sleep. You could suffer from burns if the heating pad is left on for too long.
Use The Heating Pad For Short Amounts Of Time
Another tip is to only use a heating pad for short amounts of time. A good rule of thumb is to only use the heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes per hour. Heat can offer a really nice, soothing effect to your pained muscles. However, prolonged use of a heating pad could cause inflammation to the muscles, which will only cause you even more discomfort over time. To keep the inflammation down, use a cold pack immediately after using a heating pad. The chill of the ice pack will help soothe the nerves and allow any inflammation to decrease.
Be Careful To Not Overheat The Heating Pad
If you are using a microwavable heating pad, you should follow the heating instructions very carefully. Overheating a heating pad can cause several problems. First of all, a heating pad that is too hot can burn you significantly. Microwavable heating pads usually contain a granular substance inside them, like rice or other synthetic beads. This is what absorbs the heat and provides that comforting warmth. If a heating pad is overheated, it could burn a hole in the pad. Your heating pad will be ruined, and you will be left with a big mess to clean up.
No matter if you are using an electric or microwavable heating pad, you want to use it safely. If you continue to be in pain after several days, a trip to your family doctor may be necessary to rule out any serious injuries.