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Nearly everyone will experience sore muscles in their lifetime, and as most people know, it’s far from a one-time occurrence. Luckily, there are as many pain-alleviating options as there are ways to agitate your muscles. One of the best ways to ease muscle discomfort is through heat therapy, though the sheer variety of heating pads can often leave people confused. Whether you’re dealing with neck and shoulder pain, cramps, or post-workout aches, we’ve selected the best heating pads for a variety of situations.
How Does a Heating Pad Work?
Using a heating pad is simple. Applying heat to your aching muscles boosts your blood circulation, which promotes the travel of much-needed oxygen to your joints and muscles. This process relives inflammation, improving overall comfort. Plus, the heat from a good heating pad relaxes your muscles which causes stiffness in the body to subside. While heating pads cannot cure medical conditions, they help make you more comfortable if you are dealing with pain as a result of your condition. They are especially helpful with lower back pain, arthritis, and muscle spasms.
Which Heating Pad Is the Best for Me?
You don’t have to settle for a one-size-fits-all heating pad. Many heating pads are designed with particular parts of the body in mind. If you are dealing with an injury, it’s best to select a heating pad that’s made for the afflicted area, like your shoulder, neck, or back.
However, if you are prone to muscle cramps or spasms, you will be better off choosing a versatile heating pad. Heating pads that have a flat, rectangular design can be applied to different body parts with ease.
If you struggle with arthritis or you like to give your muscles and joints extra care after an intense workout, then a wrap-around heating pad designed especially for joints will serve you best.
Knowing which heating pad is best for you comes down to knowing your body and its needs. We’ve selected four heating pads that will help you provide yourself with maximum comfort.
1. Sunbeam Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief
Fuzzy like a blanket, this electric heating pad is contoured to fit around your neck and shoulders. The collar is adjustable, so you can find a snug fit that’s just right for you. The pad itself measures 22 by 19 inches, and the fabric cover comes off so you can throw it in the washing machine. All its cozy features are just an added bonus on top of its heat therapy capabilities: The heating pad has four different heat settings, helping you get the relief that you need.
2. MIGHTY BLISS Large Electric Heating Pad
The Mighty Bliss electric heating pad measures 12 by 24 inches. Its rectangular design gives the heating pad flexibility, so it can provide relief to all different parts of your body. You can throw it over your shoulder after a hard upper body workout, place it over your stomach to help with cramps, or place it in between a chair and your lower back to ease your pain. The pad heats up within seconds, which is great for those times when you need immediate relief.
3. AllerGo Neck Heating Pad
Nothing ruins a day like waking up with a stiff neck. But as long as you have AllerGo’s heating pad on hand, quick relief will always be accessible. This heating pad is perfect because it’s hands-free and gets right to the source of your discomfort.
It offers three levels of heat and has built-in technology that prevents it from overheating. We also appreciate that this wrap is work-friendly – it’s powered by a USB charge, which means that you can plug it into your laptop or desktop as you work.
4. Carex Health Joint Wrap
This is a classic, simple heating pad that’s super flexible. Simply microwave it and then wrap it around your joints – or muscles – that are bothering you. Velcro helps it stay in place, but it doesn’t limit your mobility. You can still move around while wearing the wrap, without hindering its ability to deliver relief. This wrap is a great option if you’re dealing with arthritis, or if you’ve pulled a leg muscle at the gym.
Prefer a cold compress? Stick this pad in the fridge for a few minutes and use it as a cooling pad.