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Heating pads for menstrual cramps have long been one of the best natural remedies for relieving menstrual cramps. Women all over the world turn to heat therapy as a way of controlling the unforgiving stomach pains.In this article I will be revealing what I believe to be the best heating pads for cramps that can be applied for both muscle cramps and also period pain.
Women from all cultures and backgrounds will have their own natural remedies, but in this household it’s the trusty heat pad that does the trick.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Do Heat Pads Even Work?
- 2 In A Hurry? See Our #1 Heating Pad On Amazon
- 3 The Best Heating Pad For Stomach Cramps
- 4 The Best Infrared Heating Pad For Menstrual Cramps
- 5 Affordable Far Infrared Heat Pad For Stomach Cramping
- 6 Stick On Heat Pads For Cramps
- 7 The Best Stick On Heating Pad For Cramps
- 8 Other Alternative Heat Pads To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
- 9 Heating Pads For Cramps Of The Muscle
- 10 What Causes A Muscle To Cramp
- 11 Why Do Heating Pads Help Cramps
- 12 Infrared Heat Is Best For Muscle Cramps
- 13 Ways To Stop Leg Cramps
Do Heat Pads Even Work?
A study on WebMD (quite a few years ago) demonstrated how heating pads do actually help with relieving menstrual cramp pains. While it’s not medical ‘proven’ yet, try telling any Women that the warmth of any heated device doesn’t actually help. Try telling Women it’s all a placebo and in their heads. See how well that goes down!. What was interesting from that research is that the temperature maintained on the lower abdomen for four hours was about 104°. How many heating pads can actually maintain a consistent 100+ degree temperature. This is what we will also find out today.
The truth of the matter is that using a heat pad can be beneficial for a number of reasons. As you may already know, heat therapy helps circulate blood better. With this comes natural nutrients and oxygen. This is proven to assist the healing process on injured muscles, joint pain etc.
When it comes to menstrual cramping a heating pad does two things. It increases blood flow to the uterus where normally the blood vessels are constricted somewhat. The other benefit of using a heat pad while experiencing period pain is that it can relax the muscle (myometrium) coating on the uterus. These are the two factors which were proven in the study. Pain was gradually relieved over time (period of 4 hours). So with that said, here are what I have used and recommend for relieving menstrual cramps.
The Best Heating Pad For Stomach Cramps
So we know that heat therapy is great natural remedy for treating period pain and cramps. But what you may not know, or have not yet experienced is infrared heating. Combine the infrared with a heating pad and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Infrared works differently to traditional heating devices like the microwavable heat pads. Infrared heat heats you from the inside and not the other way around. With a traditional heat pad you feel the heat on your skin right. That is heat penetrating into your skin. But with infrared, the heat is transmitted via invisible (to the human eye) rays much deeper into the muscles and joints. Traditional pads will only heat the surface of the skin and can also burn you. But with infrared, you don’t get burned and you get a deeper heat treatment that traditional heating pads can’t deliver.
So when it comes to that uterus muscle (myometrium) cramping and causing all sorts of debilitating pain at that time of the month you need to get deep inside to the muscle arena. Infrared heat therapy is the best way to achieve this. As it reaches far deeper beneath the skin, you get increased blood flow which increases oxygen, protein and relieves pain quicker.
The Best Infrared Heating Pad For Menstrual Cramps
There’s infrared and then there’s far infrared with Jade stones. That is what this perfectly sized 15″ x 19″ heat pad by UTK offers. So we touched on the benefits of infrared heat from a heating pad. (Far infrared goes deeper into muscles than infrared) Now to make this even better is by including Jade stones into the heating pads.
What these Jade stones do is distribute infrared rays more evenly. They act as a conductor for the infrared. But that’s not all they do. Jade stone is known to also provide natural healing and good health. The pad also produces ‘negative ions’. Which is a bit sciency, but very important. Being surrounded by technology all day and night you are subjective to harmful radiation. Negative ions block this and provide a calmer environment. Think about how you feel down by a river, beach the ocean etc. This is what you feel when you are away from the bad radiation. This is the feeling negative ions provide through this heating pad.
- Far Infrared Heat Therapy
- Jade & Tourmaline Healing Attributes
- Great Size For Stomach Cramps
- 4 Hour Cut Off Time
- Ideal Temperature Zone For Menstrual Cramps
- Premium Quality
- Can Be Expensive For Some People
- Isn't Cordless
What Makes This Heat Pad The Best For Cramps & Period Pain?
- The temperature range is spot on with the case study as described above. The lowest temperature setting is 103° and goes up by 1° increments. Up to 159. So the minimum is just below the 104 degree guideline and has plenty of heating power yet to offer.
- Excellent size to fit snug on the lower stomach area. The 15″ x 19″ heating pad puts all the focus solely on the cramping area to provide maximum relief faster.
- Comes with a digital controller that allows up to 4 hours of continuous use. Very simple to control and does allow longer use per session than most if not all heating pads.
- Has an incredible 60 jade stones embedded into the heat pad. So the infrared heat is transmitted evenly and proficiently.
- Can be layed on and wrapped around body parts. Most heat pads don’t allow laying on the pad, but the UTK is good to go. The pad is flexible so can fit snug against the contours of your stomach.
- Comes with a Velcro strap to be used on other areas of the body like the arms, knees, neck etc.
- Longer cord than many. Measuring in at 10 feet, this extra long cord gives the user much more freedom.
- Passed the FDA audit. Which is particularly important for electronic goods. Not all products do this and still sell to consumers. So be wary if they have not been FDA approved.
The Bottom Line
So as you can see, this is one heck of a good heating pad to treat menstrual cramps and associated period pain. It ticks all the boxes which is very hard to do. The infrared therapy is hands down the best thing about this heating pad. If you have never tried infrared heat before, you can’t get much better than the this UTK heating pad. Premium high quality pad that offers amazing results.
Only downside is that it does cost a bit more than a traditional heating pad. But with the quick and longer lasting pain free periods, I find it to be extremely valuable for the cost.
Affordable Far Infrared Heat Pad For Stomach Cramping
If the UTK is out of your price range, the next best inline is another innovative and premium quality far infrared heat pad with Graphene. What is Graphene?. To be honest, I was not sure either before this heat pad. That is because it’s a new innovative product designed by the inventors of this pad: Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov whom one a Nobel price in physics back in 2010.
Oh how pain relief products have become so science driven these days. But for a good reason. This Graphene product works in a similar way to how the jade stones conduct the infrared heat and distribute it evenly across the pad. Unlike traditional heating pads that typically heat up in a zig zag motion.
Apparently this Graphene conducts heat like no other material. So producing consistent reliable heat shall not be an issue here. It is super thin and is two layers of this Graphene material. Which means double the heating right. Best part is you can lay on this heating pad as well. No dramas there.
Benefits Of This Graphene Heating Pad
- Good size for wrapping around the stomach region and also the lower back. Measures 12″ x 24″ long.
- Auto shut off after one hour. Smaller than the UTK, but more of a safety convenience
- Heats up to 120°. While not as hot as the UTK, you still benefit greatly from the inner material Graphene which produces the far infrared waves.
- Has three settings to suit various needs. Not quite a custom fit like the UTK (1° increments).
- Impressive one year warranty when you buy from the Seller.
- Super soft comfortable material used. Unlike many vinyl pads, this one will feel very nice on the skin.
- Good consistent and reliable heat from the Graphene sheets that provide even surface heating.
- Quick to heat up. Takes just a couple of minutes to be roaring to go.
Stick On Heat Pads For Cramps
What are stick on heat pads?. They are basically a temporary form of heat therapy. Stick on heat pads for cramps work well due to being lightweight and very portable. You can carry around a stick on heat pad in your hand bag and anytime a cramp strikes you are prepared. This is ideal for menstrual pain for the Woman that lives a busy life and access to an electric heat pad is not an option.
While they are a great temporary solution to cramping, they are not the best in terms of long term cost. You’re typically looking at between $3 and $5 per stick on pad which will usually last about 8 hours. So while great temporary pain relief pads, not the best money wise in the long term. Investing on one of the top rated heat pads will ensure you a better return on your money.
The Best Stick On Heating Pad For Cramps
I’ve found one of the better value for money stick on heat pads to be by ThermaCare. These pads are designed specifically for menstrual pain and are extremely thin so nobody notices that you have one on.
The ThermaCare Menstrual stick on heat pads come in a pack of 3. Which works to be between $3 and $4 per pad. Each pad can last up to 8 hours. They are not recommended for use during the night while you are sleeping as they can actually burn.
So it’s best to use them during the day while at work, taking care of the kids or cleaning the house. During the night stick to the hot water bottle or microwave rice bag.
How do they work?. Very simple, you remove the sticky side and position the pad on your underwear (lower abdomen area). The pad heats up automatically providing you with much welcomed pain relief from cramps. Each pad can only be used once, so make the best of the pad when you know the pain is coming.
Once they ‘cool’ down, they shrink a little and become a tad bulkier. However, this is a nice trade off for discreet 8 hours of heat relief. Plus they are a better option than filling your stomach with pain relief medications. These pads can also be used for other areas of the body like lower back pain and conditions like endometriosis influenced pelvic pain.
Other Alternative Heat Pads To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Moist Heat Pads
If infrared heat therapy is not your thing, the next best option is to go with a moist heating pad. A moist heating pad is similar to the traditional electric heating pad except it incorporates moist therapy into the pad.
The difference between heat and moist heating pads are that with a traditional pad, the heat absorbs moisture from your skin. Reducing skin elasticity and can lead to dry skin as well as potentially burning the skin. With the moist heat varieties it’s using external moisture to create a fine layer of moisture between the skin and pad. This is better for your skin and will limit the chances of burning the skin.
Portable Wraps For On The Go Heat Treatment Of Menstrual Cramps
As much as we would like, we can’t stay at home 24/7 during the menstrual period. Cramps and pain can strike at any time and when you least expect it. So work and social activities still go on, but so do the pains unfortunately. The best way to combat this is by investing in battery operated heating pads. These are either rechargeable pads or wraps that you can use external batteries in.
Life doesn’t stop when you get menstrual cramps, so having a portable heating pad like this will prove beneficial more times then not. They are considerably cheaper than electric pads as mentioned above, but usually don’t offer the same therapeutic and heat benefits.
The Trusty Microwavable Heating Pads
For as long as I can remember I’ve known Women to use these microwavable pads to naturally relieve menstrual cramping and pains. Some Women swear by them and others hate them. Each to their own. But there’s one thing microwavable heating pads don’t have that is a recommendation for treating period pain and that is consistent heat.
That is why, not just any heat pad you can throw in the microwave will do. If you want to use this method, then I recommend you check out the best microwaveable heating pads to discover the options available to treat menstrual pain.
Heating Pads For Cramps Of The Muscle
Everyone has or will experience a cramped muscle at least once in their life. It’s not a good feeling at all. It’s is literally crippling when you get one in your leg. The calf muscle is one of the most common muscles to cramp up. Athletes and sports stars are accustomed to cramping as it’s a pretty frequent occurrence.
But us ordinary folks may first experience a bit of distress and anxiety when it happens for the first time. So it’s important to know what to do if you do experience muscle cramps. The first thing you should know is that cold therapy should be applied after immediately pulling the muscle. By using a ice pack on the affected muscles, you are reducing the amount of potential swelling.
After significant time and swelling as ceased you may find the muscles are still aching or stiff. This is a good sign that you will need to apply heat therapy to the cramped muscle.
What Causes A Muscle To Cramp
Cramped muscles can cause severe intense pain. Often they are the result of overuse or straining of a muscle. This is why athletes and sports players are prone to muscle cramps. They often push their bodies to the maximum.
But how can a muscle cramp be possible when you wake up in the middle of the night in intense pain and unable to move?.
Waking up during the night from a cramp is usually due to muscles being held in a position for a prolonged period. So you could be sleeping in a bad position for many hours and the muscle eventually cramps up from this prolonged position.
Should You Consult A Doctor?
While a muscle cramp makes sense, there are numerous occasions when you will feel a cramp and simply have no explanation for this. While for many people it is simply ‘just a cramp’, there are sometimes underlying issues causing the cramps. This is when you should consult your doctor. Some underlying issues can include:
- Shortage Of Blood Supply – Arteries transport blood to your legs and feet. When you are walking or exercising, these arteries can become narrow which restricts the amount of blood flowing to your lower half. The cramps can usually be walked off, but if they occur frequently, it’s wise to see a Doctor.
- Compressed Nerves- As the body is fill of nerves which transmit data to and from the brain, it’s quite common for a nerve to become compressed. Particularly in your spine, when these nerves get compressed they can cause cramps in your legs. If you are feeling numb or lack of feeling in your feet it may be from peripheral neuropathy.
- Lack Of Minerals – A depletion of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium can cause leg crams as well.
Why Do Heating Pads Help Cramps
Heat increases blood flow, oxygen and healing nutrients to the affected muscle allowing it to relax.
A cramp is when the muscle is constricted. It becomes narrow and is blocking a percentage of the passageway for blood to flow. Think of a hollow pool noodle as a ‘smooth’ muscle. Now wrap your hands around the noodle and apply pressure. This is constricting the hollow passage way of the noodle. Less water is going to be able to flow through this pool noodle now that it is constricted.
Apply this to a muscle and the smooth muscle is now constricted as a result of a cramp. As blood flow can’t flow easily, your muscles and tissues are being deprived of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Causing stiffness and pain.
In order to make the muscle smooth again, you need to relax the muscle. Heat is the best natural way to relax the muscle so that blood can flow freely again.
Applying A Heat Pad To A Cramp
Now that we understand what a cramp is and that it is restricted of blood flow, it’s time to understand how heat is the Superhero when it comes to naturally healing a cramp.
A heating pad obviously applies heat. The heat from the pad penetrates the body into the tissues and muscles. As a result of Hemoglobin (which is a complex protein) the blood vessels expand and become wider. Blood cells cells can flow more freely to the affected muscles. The oxygen from the Hemoglobin and the healing nutrients and proteins aid the muscles recovery. Which in turn relaxes the muscle. That is how heating pads help cramps and recovery times.
Infrared Heat Is Best For Muscle Cramps
The best heat therapy available is infrared. This is an invisible heat source that naturally comes from the sun. Technology has evolved so much that we can now benefit from infrared heat without experiencing the harmful UV rays the sun puts out. This new technology is in the form of infrared heat pads.
Whats so special about infrared?. Without boring you to death, infrared simple penetrates the body far deeper than traditional heat sources can. In some cases, infrared can penetrate 2 inches deep into muscles and joints. Whereas normal heating pads only heat the surface of the skin and not much more.
Ways To Stop Leg Cramps
This short video discusses 8 beneficial ways to reduce the amount of leg cramps you may be experiencing. Combined with heat therapy, you can really limit the amount of cramps you endure and the longevity of the symptoms.