What is heat therapy?
Heat therapy is a way to reduce pain and stiffness in your body, through the use of various warming methods.
It’s not expensive to get started, and you can do it from home today.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
-Clinical studies that show that heat therapy was effective for reducing overall pain, by up to 53%, compared to other methods
- A simple, 2-minute method to start using heat therapy from home today. All you need is 2 towels, a microwave and a ziplock bag to get started
- Who should avoid heat therapy? If you have any of these conditions listed below, avoid using this method!
How does heat therapy work?
Heat therapy works by improving circulation and blood flow to a targeted area.
The increased temperature opens up your blood vessels (the “pipes” that carry your blood cells) through a process called vasodilation. Imagine it like the difference between a garden hose and fire hose. A bigger hose means more liquid can flow through. In short, heat dilates your blood vessels, so more blood can flow through to your joints.
So if you applied a heat wrap to your knees - this would cause more blood to flow to those joints. And that also means more oxygen, white blood cells, platelets and other essential nutrients are sent to your joints. This then repairs damaged tissues and reduces pain.
Are there studies that show heat therapy actually works for reducing pain?
Several studies have found that heat therapy can be effective for reducing pain.
- One clinical study on 87 patients found that patients with acute low back pain, who got heat therapy reported significantly less pain, compared to cryotherapy or the control(1). Heat therapy resulted in 53% more effectiveness of reducing overall pain, when compared to the control
- One review of 32 randomized trials found that applying heat therapy within 1 hour after exercise could significantly reduce pain post-workout pain levels(2).
- Another review found that regular low-level heat therapy could provide pain relief, improves muscular strength and increases flexibility(3).
What are the benefits of heat therapy?
- Heat therapy can be useful for:
- Reducing muscle spasms
- Allowing more blood to flow through to targeted areas (like your joints), which supports in repairing damaged tissue
- Increasing muscle flexibility and reduce stiffness
- Reducing post-exercise muscle soreness
- Reducing joint discomfort
How do I start using heat therapy?
There are several ways you can approach using heat therapy from home.
Aim to set the temperature for “warm” rather than “hot.” Avoid extremely hot temperatures, as this can cause burns.
Also make sure to always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And avoid using heat therapy for longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
If you have stiffness, aches or pain in a specific area…
Try using a steamed towel or moist heating pack.
One easy way to create your own at-home towel compress:
1. Grab two small towels and a microwave-friendly ziplock bag
2. Wet both towels with water and wring out excess water. Each towel should be damp, but not dripping wet
3. Put one of the towels into the ziplock bag. Make sure to leave the bag open. Then microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes
4. Remove the bag from the microwave, using oven mitts or something similar (the bag will be extremely hot). Seal the bag and wrap your second towel around that bag.
5. Now you’ve got your own heating pad! Apply to the problem area for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Another method is to simply hop into a hot bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Adding extras like bath salts (like Epsom salts) can also be good for bone and heart health!
When should I avoid heat therapy?
You should avoid heat therapy when:
- The painful area is bruised or swollen
- Do not apply heat therapy to open wounds
- If you have pre-existing conditions (like vascular diseases, diabetes, heart disease etc.) you should consult with your doctor first.
P.S. Need Pain Relief On-The-Go?
Even though heat therapy has been proven to be effective for many people...
The #1 problem most folks have with it is that you have to stay still for at least 20 minutes for the pain-relief to take effect.
So while that works just fine when you're resting at home...
If you're on the move and need pain-relief, traditional heat therapy methods are no good!
That's why we've developed our own solution for on-the-go pain-relief, which was inspired by the effectiveness of heat therapy:
The Ultra Knee Elite is designed to provide stability and support for your knees - no matter how busy you get.
It's made of a special Ultranet Fabric that gives a warming sensation for your knees.
Except unlike heat therapy, it gives you pain-relief even when you're moving!
There's a reason why 90,000 happy customers love the Ultra Knee Elite.
- 90-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
- Free Shipping
"My knees were so bad, that I could barely walk up and down the stairs. I looked into getting surgery on them, but I found out my insurance wouldn’t help cover the cost, and my doctor warned me about the risks. I felt like I was trapped and was desperate for a way out. My daughter saw this on the internet and bought a pair for me. After just one week, my knees have gained the strength to not only get me up and down the stairs, but also I’m walking with my girls again!"