Stiff back? Aching muscles? We’ve all been there, and although OTC medication can help with pain, heat therapy actually improves range of motion and can reduce pain better than analgesics in some cases.
Although our products were not designed specifically to provide heat therapy, when an innovative customer shared that she uses of our Heated Add-On as a remedy for her sore back, we thought she might be on to something. Turns out that heat therapy has been used for centuries for pain management and to alleviate muscle spasms, so we decided to dedicate a post to the power behind our product—heat!
Muscle strain and injury
With spring in the air, lots of folks will be renewing their commitment to both yard work and outdoor exercise, both of which have the propensity to be a pain in the backside, if you know what I mean. That pain is typically caused by a breakdown in fascia and muscle tissue. Applying heat to painful, stiff areas causes blood vessels beneath the skin to dilate, flooding the area with oxygen-rich blood.
Increased blood flow to damaged areas helps remove toxins and lactic acid, which often builds up in overworked muscles, making post-workout heat therapy an ideal drug-free pain management strategy.
Applying heat prior to exercise can even help increase range of motion, potentially preventing injury.
Relief for arthritis and chronic pain
Sufferers of chronic pain caused by inflammation or arthritis may find relief from heat therapy as well, since the increased blood flow that helps heal broken down tissue also reduces inflammation and makes connective tissue more flexible. The Arthritis Foundation recommends heat therapy as part of a basic pain management and prevention strategy.
Choosing the right therapy for your condition
Heat therapy can frequently be most effective when alternated with cold therapy. For new injuries, ice or cold packs are usually recommended in order to reduce swelling. Understanding which therapy is right for your condition is an important consideration, and you should consult your doctor before undertaking any new therapeutic treatment.
There are some reasons not to use heat therapy. Generally speaking:
- Don’t use heat if there’s swelling. Use cold first, then heat.
- Don’t use heat if you have poor circulation or diabetes.
- Don’t use heat on an open wound or stitches.
- Restrict use of heat to 20 minutes or less.
Relax and enjoy
The therapeutic benefits of direct heat notwithstanding, being warm and comfy is just plain relaxing. Our prescription for a chilly morning campground or outdoor soccer game? Chaheati! Our heated camp chairs and new “add-on” seat can make nearly any seating area warm and cozy.
What are your favorite uses for your Chaheati? Leave us a note in the comments and we’ll feature our favorites in an upcoming blog post!