4 Important Benefits of Heat Therapy
Athletes often suffer from pulled muscles, cramping, and soreness in their bodies. How often have you woken up with a cramp in your hamstring or a sore neck? That makes us athletes, right? We can do it in our sleep.
On a more serious note, muscle pain is a serious issue, and it afflicts all people, from the athlete to the humble couch potato. There are solutions out there. We can load our bodies up with painkillers, inject chemicals, subject them to more pain, or we can go down a different route. Heat therapy can ease and relieve muscle pain. Is heat therapy the solution for you?
1. Muscle Spasms
Do your muscles twitch and spasm? Have you twisted your head to see a cute dog with its head out of a car window, and your neck twitched? Have you lifted a really cool, but heavy rock, and felt a spasm in your back? Heat can help. There are a variety of options available, from neck pillows to shoulder wraps. Heat will help to relax and soothe your muscles (1). Throw out the meds, but gently! You do not want to spasm.
You wake from a long night of sleep or a short power nap, and you are stiff. You have trouble moving your back, shoulders, and neck. You let out groan as you stand up. You need some heat therapy. Heat can help to relieve any muscle stiffness you have. Heat pads are wonderfully convenient. They are heated in the microwave and placed on the affected area. Your mobility will be increased, allowing you to gently stretch as your muscles are warmed.
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3. Blood Flow
Heat can help to increase the flow of blood around your body (2). Increased blood flow can help injuries to heal faster. Applying a heat pad or pillow to an affected area, such as a pulled neck muscle, can help to relax the muscle, increase the blood flow, and reduce the recovery time.
4. Tension and Stress
Stress and tension can multiply your problems. An ache or pain is intensified if you also cannot sleep. Your muscles become tighter when stress is prevalent in your life, escalating any other troubles. Heat therapy can help to melt away stress and dissolve any tension (3). Combining heat therapy with aromatherapy can further combat your worries.
Heat therapy can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Heating pads are easy to purchase, and the benefits to your heart with far outweigh the cost of owning one. When heat is applied to a muscle, the blood vessels expand, improving oxygen flow through the body. Nutrients get to where they are needed at a quicker rate. Damaged muscles and tissue are healed faster. Heat therapy can be used to treat back pain , neck and shoulder pain , leg pain, and more. Why waste your valuable time in a doctor’s waiting room?
Can Heat Therapy Help Decrease Pain?
This is a big question. Heat therapy is not a one-stop solution for all kinds of pain, but it can help to alleviate some of your pain. (4) A few of these mechanisms are listed below:
Is Heat Therapy Safe?
Heat therapy has been around for thousands of ears. Although it is considered to be safe, there are some conditions which can be worsened when heat therapy is used.
Want to make your own heat bag that you can use at home? Watch this video to learn how.