Prepare yourself for some serious pain relief.
Do a quick Google search on heating pads, and you’ll find that most of the results are associated with some sort of body pain. That means a lot of people are in the same boat as you—they’re looking for an easy way to get rid of pain fast or nurse their muscles back to health after an intense workout.
Heating pads can be great tools to help soothe pain at home, whether it’s period cramps or sore muscles from exercise. They help with shoulder, neck, and foot pains, too; acute low back pain is another common health concern that may benefit from heating pads.
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How do heating pads help with pain?
While forms of heat therapy—or thermotherapy—such as mud baths, steam treatments, and hot springs have been used for centuries, we still turn to them today as a remedy for everyday aches and pains.
A small 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that consistent use of heat therapy with a heated water bottle reduced pain for a sample of adults compared to those who took an oral naproxen pain reliever. Heat can help relax tense uterine muscles, too, which explains why heating pads can be so beneficial for menstrual cramps. A 2001 study in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that heating pads helped alleviate period cramps in participants who used them compared to those who wore an unheated, placebo patch.
It's important to note that heating pads and wraps are usually a short-term fix for acute pain. Always consult your doctor about any major pain you’re experiencing (for example, there are different types of back pain to consider, and not all can benefit from heating pads).
What are the best heating pads to alleviate soreness?
Instead of shopping store to store comparing too-many-to-count versions of heating pads, we’ve turned to Amazon to help us find the top-rated heating pads that check all the boxes. Here, the 10 best options for relief from menstrual cramps, neck pain, and more.
Best Overall: Sunbeam King Size Heating Pad
Best for Neck and Shoulders: Sunbeam Renue Microplush Tension Relief Heating Wrap
Best for Cramps: Nature’s Approach Aromatherapy Belted Lumbar Wrap Herbal Pack
Best for Feet: Serta Ultra Soft Plush Electric Heated Warming Pad
Best Full-Body: Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad
Best for Back Pain: MightyBliss Large Electric Heating Pad
Best for Travel: Sunbeam Small XPress Heating Pad
Best Wearable: iTeknic Heating Pad
Best Moist Heat: Sable Heating Pad
Best Microwavable: My Heating Pad Microwavable