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Moist heating pads are often considered the ultimate in relaxation and comfort. But moist heat therapy is also beneficial in easing and eliminating chronic back pain.
Back pain is often the result of strain, overuse, or injury that causes tension in the muscles of the spine. The tightness causes a decrease in blood circulation and sends pain signals to the brain. The brain perceives this as a new injury and tightens the muscle in an Electrical Heat Therapy effort to stabilize it. The tightened muscle causes a decrease in blood circulation and thus begins the pain spasm pain cycle. This type of chronic pain can go on for years, and range from mild to excruciating. To stop the pain you must break the cycle.
Heat therapy helps break the pain spasm cycle that causes back pain by dilating the blood vessels in the injured area, allowing a greater flow of blood with oxygen and nutrients to the injured area, so that it can heal. Warming the area also allows the muscle fibers to relax and stretch, reducing stiffness and aiding flexibility. Heat therapy also stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin causing a reduction of the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Heat therapy used regularly can eliminate the pain spasm pain cycle.
Moist heat is often considered to be superior to dry, but the healing benefits are actually the same. However, water does transfer heat faster then air does and so moist heat is transferred to your muscles faster and can have a more intense feeling then the slow penetration of dry heat. And when you’re in pain, faster is usually considered better!
Heat therapy is a simple, inexpensive technique that is often overlooked in the quest for pain relief. Heat therapy can be applied in many ways, the most common are hot water baths, electric heating pads, microwave moist heating pads or hydrocollator heat pads. They are all effective in breaking the pain spasm cycle and ending chronic pain.