Home Care Instructions: Using A Heating Pad

home hot pack One of the best sources of relief for muscle and joint pain is a heating pad. The strained and overused muscles can find significant relief when applying heat. Using common material around your house, there are quick and easy ways to make your own heating pad to soothe away the pain in your joints and muscles.

The main benefit of heat therapy is the increase of blood flow to the painful areas. Blood vessels open up when heat is applied, this allows increased blood flow to the injured or sore areas, increasing the oxygen as well as flushing away the metabolic waste. It is common knowledge that heat will relax muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

To use heat therapy at home does not require you to go out and buy an electric heating pad. You can make two different heating pads with common material around the house.


Before we describe the two common methods of using a heating pad at home, here are the basic instructions to using home heat therapy.

Apply to affected area for NO LONGER than 15 minutes. Use a layer of towels between your skin and the heating pad.  Remove for at least 1 hour then repeat. 2-3 applications a day is advisable. Dry electric heating pads are not recommended.


Making your own heating pad: Method 1

  1. 1. Wet two hand towels with water, squeezing out the excess water until they’re just damp.
  2. 2. Put one towel in a zip lock type bag, make sure to leave the bag open.
  3. 3. Place the bag in the microwave and heat on high for one – two minutes.
  4. 4. Remove the bag – be careful – it will be hot!
  5. 5. Seal the zip lock type bag and wrap the other damp towel around the bag.
  6. 6. Apply your homemade heating pad to the sore area no longer than 15 minutes.

Making your own heating pad: Method 2

  1. 1. Find a pair of unused socks. Make sure they are not synthetic material.
  2. 2. Fill one sock with uncooked rice. Leave room at the top to close the opening.
  3. 3. Place this sock, opening first, into another sock. Close off the opening.
  4. 4. When ready to use, microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes.
  5. 5. Remove from microwave (CAUTION: It is hot!) and apply to affected area.

If your pain lasts longer than 4-6 days, consult our office. It is probably more than a simple ache or pain. Call (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL NOW