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Heating pad Q's

LoLLo Posts: 694
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So both of my heating pads say not to lay or sit on them..... To always have one side exposed to air... But I've never done that. Even with the heating pads we used as kids, we never kept them open to the air on one side. I've ALWAYS laid on them. Even now, I had a regular heating pad and it has a 2 hour auto shut off, so I would fall asleep laying on it cause my back muscles hurt.... Then today I bought a new heating pad and realized it said not to lay on it, then read my other one and it says the same things...

Does anyone else lay on their heating pads? And how long after your surgeries did you wait? I have 4 fresh incisions on my back , ranging from 1 to 3 inches each, and a 6 inch incision on my stomach, and I place it on either side, since my stomach muscles still hurt from being cut, as well. My surgeon said they were all healed, internal stitches in the front, staples in the back. Got my staples out a week and a half ago. Started using this heating pad within the last week. After I got the staples removed.

Any input or info? I wasn't considering using a heating pad when I saw my doctor, it wasn't until I got my staples out that I realized how much my muscles hurt, since I was so distracted by the annoyance of the staples and itchiness and some of them were slipping out, etc... Sooo any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)


  • baby bear
    go for it, if the incisions are healed.
    iv never heard of that instruction before.
    and most of the new ones come with a extra pad inside to use as moist heat.
    and i know u , u have your hoodie on so don't put it directly on your skin.

    if unsure call the docs office and ask the secretary they will call you back and let you know..
    i use the heating blanket all the time.
    i asked this question about 2wks ago on here..

    love yas
    mama bear :X
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    I strongly recommend that the heating pay should be laying on you and not the other way around.
    I had a microwaveable rice heating pad, that I put under me when I went to sleep. I had sweatshirt on.. In the morning I woke up with a third degree burn, that eventually required plastic surgery to cover the whole where the burnt eschar was.

    It was from laying directly on the heat with no place for it to escape.

    So, I would always put the heating pad on top
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • opps!

    I lie on mine too, sometimes I can't seem to get enough of the heat.

    But this makes god common sense, Thank you!

    Lo, I hope you ache feel better soon. >:D<
  • Mama bear, you are right, I never put it directly on my skin.... EVER. Never have. ALWAYS have clothes underneath. Mine have auto shut off, so they turn off on their own if I fall asleep... It's pretty sweet. Longwalk, It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who lays on them. Lol.

    I can't lay on my stomach, it hurts my stomach AND my back. Sucks, cause I used to always sleep on my stomach :( Boooo

    I'm sorry about your burn dilaurio :( That's gotta suck. I have a rice filled thing, too, but it's to go around your neck. I never use it. My heating pads reach max heat in 10 minutes, so I know how how they're going to get, and then luckily they turn off. One in 2 hours, the other shuts off after 1.

    I don't understand WHY they say not to lay on them, I mean, if your skin is covered with clothing, etc, you aren't going to get burned, because there is a limit to how hot they can get, legally. Regulations and what not.
  • Lo---I, too, have always laid on the heating pad for my lower back. But, I'm always careful to have clothes on and then put a towel on top of heating pad as well. I take it up to the highest level and then turn it to low for the rest of the time. I've even gone to sleep with it on low and have never had a burn. But, better to be safe and turn it off before you go to sleep for the night.
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  • I have a platinum infrared heating pad that reaches the muscles 2.36 inches under the skin and no burn if you lay on it at low level. Other heating pads are only 2-3 cm heating only the skin. There was a study done on this heating pad when used at least twice a day it can even improve circulation to remove toxins and build up of lactic acid in the legs that can cause sciatica. My anesthetist recommended this one and it really helps. Check with your Dr. if it could help you. It's expensive though. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the input. Joy, my heating pads turn themselves off. I have had insomnia for about 7 years now, so I can't do things right before I fall asleep cause I have no idea when I'm going to. I can't just turn the TV off, close my eyes, and fall asleep. So I have to just prepare myself for whenever it finally happens. I specifically looked for heating pads with auto-offs. They are an amazing feature. LOVE them. The heating pad helps me fall asleep. It's nice to know other people have laid on theirs and not had problems, either. Phew.

    Charry, sounds pretty sweet. Could never afford anything expensive, though. Barely paying the bills! Haha. Maybe one day. My heating pads cost 15.00 each. That's about my limit. Lol.
  • Lo, Guilty! I too lay on my heating pad, but I do keep it on low and it has an auto shut off after 30 minutes. I usually have to turn it on again, it shuts off too fast. My surgeon warned me to keep in on low cause often our backs are kinda numb from surgery and we might not realize if it were too hot. Take care, Cali-Sue
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    Hi Lo,

    I used to have several heating pads, some strictly dry heat some providing moist heat. For whatever reasons, I really never liked them.
    What I found better to use, was getting those hydrolator packs that many Physical Therapist places uses. You can either put them in the microwave or in hot water. They provide nice moist warm heat for up to 30 minutes. I think they cost under $20, so basically in the same range as other electric heating pads. I liked them so much , I purchased a cervical collar type, lower back (Medium) and Upper Back (Large) types. You can also purchase a special wrap that yu can put those pads into, but I have one, and honestly, just a towel works fine.

    That along with some aroma therapy, low candles and relaxing music and that can put me out!
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Still more people with me here. Haha. It really is such a relief to know I'm not the only one. I got scared once I read it cause I was like, omg, could something totally serious have happened? I haven't laid on it since I read that, but I miss it so much my back could TOTALLY use it.

    Google Soft Heat, I think it is, and it's a King Size heating pad and it has a LOT of settings. You can set the auto off anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes. That's pretty sweet. I want it. I have the regular King Size version with 3 settings and it turns off after an hour. It's a dry or moist one. I never do moist, cause laying on it, well... I sweat easy, and that creates enough moisture hahaha. My other is a regular heating paid, 4 settings... High, Medium, Low, and Warm.. And shuts off after 2 hours. It is also a dry or moist heating pad. They were both 15 dollars each. Pretty nifty. I'm sorry if people hate the monopolizing effect of Walmart, but I don't know what I would do without them! Can't imagine how much I'd have to go without if that store didn't exist. Lol. Don't hate me, guys! I gotta shop there :( Lol
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