What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a medical condition in which your immune system attacks your body parts, causing swelling and inflammation. Most commonly, it attacks your joints, and multiple joints are usually affected simultaneously. It can also cause body stiffness and impairment of activities of daily living.
What are heating pads?
Heating pads are used to warm parts of the body to relieve pain and stiffness. It is believed that localized application of heat dilates blood vessels and enhancing perfusion to the target tissues.
Heating pads are a form of heat therapy that promotes consistent circulation throughout the body.
Designed to heat up when activated, they can take the form of small pillows, large blankets, wearable wraps, and more.
Some of these heating pads require materials that have high heat capacity to make them a good heating instrument. In this blog post we will discuss how to choose the perfect heating pad for joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
How do heating pads work?
Applying moist heat to a painful area is a simple, inexpensive method for relieving pain.
Heat increases blood supply to affected areas and decreases joint pain and stiffness. Dr. Nilanjana Bose, a board-certified rheumatologist, said that using a heating pad for the pain of rheumatoid arthritis is a good choice for a temporary pain relief. Doctors and physiotherapists usually recommend heating pads when no other medication significantly reduces pain and stiffness. It is also documented that moist heat therapy may play a significant role by decreasing pain perception by peripheral pain receptors and their transmission towards the central nervous system.
When to use heat therapy for muscle stiffness and joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis?
As this Cleveland clinic article says, heat therapy is a good way to relieve pain.
“Heat loosens up muscles, increases flexibility and increases circulation.”
Heating pads are usually used to decrease chronic pain and stiffness in a case that do not respond to conventional therapy. It increases patient’s n ability to tolerate pain and therefore provides significant relief. Patients who suffer from chronic neck, back, shoulder, wrist or elbow pain are potential candidate for heat therapy. There are no specific time restrictions to which heating pads can be used. As some professionals say, we can use it as long as it provides relief.
What are the benefits of heating pads?
“Heat therapy has many benefits, but the most important ones are improving pain tolerance and reducing joint swelling and stiffness”, as one of the articles of The Harvard Health says. Moist heat penetrates more quickly in the skin than dry heat and therefore provides quicker relief. The only option available at the market that provides moist heat therapy is a microwavable heating pads, filled with grains. Dampening the heating pad and then heating it in a microwave oven is a good idea to improvise moist heat.
The best option available for Moist Heat Therapy
Microwavable heating pads filled with grains are great option for muscle stiffness pain relief. Usually made locally and filled with local grains, those natural pads provide the best moist heat therapy.
There are many other heating and cooling bags out there. Some filled with flax, corn, rice and cherry pits. All of these provide some relief but fail terribly in many ways. If you already tried rice, corn, cherry pits or gel bags you probably disliked them. Gel bags leak over time and rice bags are too heavy, and I’m not even talking about the smell.
Our Ontario grown oats filling has a great balance between being shapeable, with a bit of heft to it and still being lightweight and comfortable. It can take a little longer to heat than a gel pack, but it retains the heat better. The dual-layer cotton covering is thick and very soft, provide moist therapeutic heat or cold without burning or freezing the skin on contact, weigh a lot less and yet provide exceptional effect.
But the best of all is the wonderful aroma! None of the other products out there provide the same level of comfort. We use 100% Canadian grains with no GMO and everything is hand crafted here in Ontario.
Are there any side effects of heat therapy?
Vivian Welch et al published a study that shows the effects of heat therapy on rheumatoid arthritis pain. They concluded that no significant side effects were noted with heat therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Less common side effects are burns and local allergic reactions due to poor materials used in heating pads. Our product made of the Dual-layered 100% cotton fabric, approved by the National Cotton Council of America. You will find zero synthetic or unknown ingredients in HARTI Heating pads.
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When to see a doctor for pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis?
While ice and heat therapy are good options to manage your joint pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis, it is imperative to seek medical attention if you have worsening pain and swelling. Dr. Bose says. "If you're not getting relief, it should trigger a warning bell," she says. "Maybe there's something deeper inside, or this might need more systemic treatment rather than topical."