Heat Therapy
What is heat therapy and how does it work.
Different Types of Heat Pads
Heat pads become essential in every household for initial remedy in relieving pain. Learn what types of pads are available.
Infrared Heat Therapy
How infrared heat therapy works, when to use and not to use infrared lamps, precautions in using infrared lamps and the benefits that can be derived
Paraffin Wax Heat Therapy
Paraffin wax therapy is a safe way to soothe pain. Find out how.
Best Heat Therapy for Different Body Conditions
Discover the heat therapy that works best for each condition of the body
Discover the heat therapy that works best for each condition of the body
Different Types of Heat Pads

Learn the Different Types of Heat Pads

Nowadays, heat pads can be easily found in the market or even online. Mostly, they help in soothing pain and stiffness. With their popularity in relieving pain, manufacturers have created different head pads that are suitable for different purposes or cases. All these types of heat pads are available online.

Sodium Acetate Heat Pad

This heat pad has water, sodium acetate (sometimes food grade sodium acetate can be used, this is the same ingredient for salt and vinegar potato chips) and a ferrous metal flat disc. Sodium acetate is a supersaturated solution. Heat is being produced when you allow crystallization by pressing the metal flat disc in it. Since sodium acetate is supersaturated, when the temperature is raised, more sodium acetate is in the solution. And pressing the metal will ignite crystallization by creating crystal seeds that would render reaction for the pad to solidify.

The liquid will generate heat as the pad cools down. It has the ability to maintain high temperature as it solidifies. Usually, crystallization occurs if temperature is at 54 degrees Celsius (or 130 degrees Fahrenheit). You can reuse the pad by recharging the crystal form by placing the pad in boiling water for about five to twenty minutes. Then the sodium acetate is again on its supersaturated form. If the pad has cooled at a room temperature, then it can be used again for heat therapy.

Advantages of this heat pad is that it is reusable, it can provide heat for 13 to 6 hours, can be used even without boiling since you can use other means in melting the crystal such as food warmer or even the dash of your car. It can also be used for cold pack by putting it inside your refrigerator.

One of the disadvantages is that if the pad gets a hole then you would need to dispose of it since you can no longer recharge it.

Microwaveable Heat Pad

Microwaveable heat pads are made of flannel fabrics and are filled with grains such as buckwheat, rice or beans. They need to be heated in the microwave so that you can generate head from them.

These can be made in your own homes. You can even customize the head pad so that it will fit in the area that you want to apply heat. Also, you can add aromatic scents to these pads by using essential scented oils, spices or even dried flower petals for a soothing therapeutic effect. At the same time, these are the advantages of microwaveable heat pads compared to others.

Some disadvantages includes:

• You would still need a microwave oven
• If they get wet, mold may form on the heat pads
• May ignite while being heated in the microwave and may cause fire
• May be hard to sterilize

Air Activated Heat Pad

These heat pads usually contain charcoal, iron powder and salt. Once the pouch was opened, the air (oxygen) reacts with the iron powder and heat energy is being released. The charcoal and salt helps in faster reaction with the air and the powder. After 30 minutes of being applied on the skin, heat increase.

Advantages of Air Activated Heat Pads

• No need to use heating devices. It is easy, just stick the pad to your skin.
• Deep heat is distributed evenly
• They are convenient to use since you can bring them anywhere
• Drug-free

On the other hand, disadvantages are: you need to wait for 30 minutes before you feel heat on the affected area, costly since per use you may spend $3 to $5. Also, old stock may not be that effective since they may not achieve the best temperature for the therapy.

Electric Heating Pad

These are pads that use electricity to generate the heat needed. Some of these are now digital.

One of the advantages of this is you can get evenly distributed heat from using the pad. However, disadvantages in using electric heat pads are the following:

• Using it may cause electric shocks.
• Cannot be used with wet covers and when sleeping since you may roll over them and damage the wiring.
• With continuous use, it may cause burns.

Moist Heat Pads

These heat pads are widely used by physical therapists. The moisture that is being produced by these heat pads is important for transferring heat deeper into the body tissues as compared to dry heat. These are mostly being applied to larger areas such as the back or spine.


• Moist heat helps in increasing blood circulation within the body
• No water is needed since moisture comes from the air humidity
• Provides deep moist heat that is more effective than electric, dry heat.
• It is a very relaxing therapy

One of the disadvantages noted is that supervision is highly needed since it provides intense heat needed for the tissue treatment.

Most of these heat therapy products are available at

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