Dry Heat Use

Dry heat can be very useful in helping your tissues and muscles relax and heal. It should be used with caution, however, as excessive heat or prolonged exposure can cause burns. Listed below are a few general guidelines for the use of dry heat.


  • Fill the hot water bottle ½ full. Press out the extra air.

  • Close the cap tightly. Cover the hot water bottle with a cloth.

  • Lay the hot water bottle on your skin. Cover it with a dry towel.

  • Leave the hot water bottle in place for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Repeat every 4 to 6 hours while awake.


  • Cover the heating pad. Use the pad on low heat.

  • Do not lie on the heating pad.

  • Do not leave the heating pad in place for more than 45 minutes at a time.

  • Do not sleep with a heating pad.

  • If you have diabetes, do not use a heating pad unless instructed to do so by your caregiver.


  • You develop blisters, swelling, redness, or any loss of feeling.

  • Your symptoms are not improving or are getting worse.

  • You have any other questions or concerns.

Stop using dry heat until you have seen your caregiver.