Heating pads are very useful to put on all of your sore muscles-back of the neck, on your lower lumbar and all back areas, shoulders, hips, knees, legs, and feet. The best heating pads are very helpful for menstrual cramps and great for cold feet in the winter when socks don`t get you warm enough when you sit in your recliner watching a movie. A heating pad is simply becoming familiar with the different types in the marketplace and choosing the one that best suits you and your family`s needs. Most of the time they sit in the linen closet, but oh how wonderful it is to have it nearby when feeling achy and sore. They are better to use than painkillers with no side effects. Heating pads are a staple, just like having bath towels and peanut butter. How Heating Pads Work to Relieve Pain Warmth, heat, and a history for being related to relaxation and comfort is the heating pad. Heat remedies offer equally great pain relief and therapeutic advantages for many types of lower back pain and all body aches and muscle soreness. This is an inexpensive way to achieve results for strains and sprains. It also will help when you over extend your muscles anywhere that feel tense and sore. Heat does ease tightness in the lower back. Heat dilates the blood vessels increasing blood flow carrying nutrients and oxygen to the muscle tissue to help heal. Heat encourages the pain receptors in the skin to reduce the pain signals sent to the brain that will help relieve pain. Heat makes it easy to stretch the soft tissue around the spine, bones, muscle tissue, scar tissue, and supportive and connecting tissues and organs of the body. With heat on your body, stiffness and improved flexibility will happen. Taking a hot bath or shower is recommended before getting under the heating pad. Heating pads are an easy solution that can be done at home while relaxing. You can take small ones to the office to use on your lower back. Portable heat wraps are another option for taking with you to work or use in the car or truck. Heating pads are not invasive, require no doctor prescriptions, and provide relief. How to Use Heat Therapy First, read the instructions that come with your heating pad including the warnings and cautions. Generally, a pulled muscle or sprain is the most frequent beginning of back pain-upper, lumbar, and lower. The pain usually lasts from a couple of days to a few weeks. A lumbar cushion might be beneficial in conjunction with a heating pad. Alternatively, have someone give you a great relaxing massage with a hand-held massager. You will want a heating pad that maintains its heat at the appropriate temperature. Warm is the ideal and suitable temperature for muscle pain. The heat needs to pass through the skin without burning the skin to get into the muscles. Making the skin hot does nothing for the muscles-in fact, it will distract you giving you more pain from heat! Sustained heat is best. Slight pain or injuries can be done in shorter times of 15 to 20 minutes while more extreme pain might take longer times of heat up to 3 hours and more. Plug the heating pad into the wall outlet, set the dials or control, kick back with a good book or movie, and relax. When Not to Use Heat Therapy To be on the safe side, always discuss heat therapy using heating pads with your doctor. Please talk with your healthcare provider if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), or heart disease. You should not use heat if you have: Diabetes Peripheral artery disease (PAD) or sometimes called peripheral vascular disease Dermatitis Lower back bruising or swelling Open sores or wounds Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood-clotting disorder Mental challenges If you are bruised or have swelling, an ice or cold pack would be the best thing to reduce swelling, not heat.