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Infrared heating pad

Has anyone used infrared heating pad for lower back pain? Do they work better than a regular heating pad?



  • Rehabsmart, I’ve tried all sorts of heating pads and what I’ve found that works the best for me is to wet a mid sized towel, throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you now have a moist heating pad. They also sell reusable style microwave type heating pads and the moistness seems to work for me. Secondly, you won’t have to worry about falling asleep with a electrical device....David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • Rehabsmart, I went all out and bought an infrared amethyst mat for my daughter and I. It has been awesome. It is a very different, deep warmth that never feels hot like a regular heating pad. I turn it on to let it warm up a bit (covered with a blanket to retain heat) then lay down with the blanket over. Very relaxing. 

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  • I use a hot water bottle wrapped in a pillow case.

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    @DavidG - Your comment about "don't worry about falling asleep with an electric heat pad", please make sure it is a heat pad that turns itself off.  Long periods of electric heat pads (I taking an hour or more) can create issues in parts of the body.  I fell asleep with a heat pad that did not turn itself off with heat at a moderate to high level of heat and caused additional damage to my shoulder.  I had that confirmed by a physical therapist and doctor. 

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528
    edited 05/15/2019 - 10:19 AM

    Any heating pad can can cause a problem.  Back in 2006 when most of my thoracic problems were major, I was on oxycontin 30mg 3x day.  I used one of the rice filled microwavable heat pads.   I put in the microwave, for a little over the recommended time.  

    Went to bed with a sweatshirt on and laid on the rice pad.  In the morning, I had a 3 degree burn that eventually a plastic surgeon had to remove the deep eschar and cover the hole with a skin flap.

    You would think, that eventually, the heat would have cooled down, but laying on it, trapping in all the heat caused the problem.   The fact that I was on the medication, I probably did not feel the burn.   I have to imagine all the damage was done in the first two hours or so.

    I agree with David, now, I have found the best method is putting a wet towel in the microwave, then wrap it up and apply it.

    Still I wont put it under me!

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,486

    @nutcase, i think david meant that by using the towel one didn't have to worry about the dangers of falling asleep on the electric heating pad. but with that said i do wish i could find one with an auto shut off feature!  my mattress pad heater has it but i cannot find any heating pad here with an auto shut off (odd, you'd think they would make them)....the other concern is having too hot a temp at the high setting.....any heating pad can be dangerous-especially with nerve damage...i found that out too-i didn't actually burn myself, but i have wide stretches of my back that are numb from the surgery so it doesn't feel the heat, and with the metal in my body i actually gave myself heat stroke one day-ended up having to go to the hospital because i had over heated myself and passed out when i stood up and my core temperature was up to the equivalent of a high fever!!!  so now i'm super careful. my best is a hot water bottle with warm-hot tap water (just make sure the lid is on right...argh), and put it on top of me (not me on top of it) and gradually it cools down, but i have to set a timer for 20 minutes.  or the towel - i never thought about microwaving it, but damp and put it in the dryer for 5 minutes and then take it out.  probably would save hydro by using the microwave LOL.  i do use the infrared heaters for the young animals in my barn and they love it (and so does my hydro bill).....

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    If you google "heating pad auto shut off", there are heat pads that include auto shutoff features.  When my shoulder issues were different form what I currently have, I found relief by draping the heating pads over the back of a reclining chair and sitting into them.  Often, it felt so good, I would fall asleep for hours.  When I checked the heat pad packaging this morning, I found the auto shutoff to be two hours, which to me seems rather long.  Anyway, by having the auto shutoff, it saved me from getting skin burns.  Maybe the two hours worked for me since I was semi-vertical in a reclining chair.  

  • Nutcase007, the post read if you use a moistened heating pad taken from the microwave ,then you do not have to worry about falling asleep with it. It’s non electrical. I would never recommend anyone to fall asleep with any electrical device no matter where the heating pad was placed....David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    DavidG - I reread your post again.  I misunderstood your post. Thanks for the clarification.

  • No biggie my friend, with  my eyesight I could have made a mistake lol


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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