Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can help make painful, stiff muscles and joints feel better. Do not use heat on new injuries. Wait at least 48 hours after an injury to use heat. Do not use heat when you have aches or pains right after an activity. If you still have pain 3 hours after stopping the activity, then you may use heat.

HOME CARE

Wet heat pack

  • Soak a clean towel in warm water. Squeeze out the extra water.

  • Put the warm, wet towel in a plastic bag.

  • Place a thin, dry towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Put the heat pack on the area for 5 minutes, and check your skin. Your skin may be pink, but it should not be red.

  • Leave the heat pack on the area for 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Repeat this every 2 to 4 hours while awake. Do not use heat while you are sleeping.

Warm water bath

  • Fill a tub with warm water.

  • Place the affected body part in the tub.

  • Soak the area for 20 to 40 minutes.

  • Repeat as needed.

Hot water bottle

  • Fill the water bottle half full with hot water.

  • Press out the extra air. Close the cap tightly.

  • Place a dry towel between your skin and the bottle.

  • Put the bottle on the area for 5 minutes, and check your skin. Your skin may be pink, but it should not be red.

  • Leave the bottle on the area for 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Repeat this every 2 to 4 hours while awake.

Electric heating pad

  • Place a dry towel between your skin and the heating pad.

  • Set the heating pad on low heat.

  • Put the heating pad on the area for 10 minutes, and check your skin. Your skin may be pink, but it should not be red.

  • Leave the heating pad on the area for 20 to 40 minutes.

  • Repeat this every 2 to 4 hours while awake.

  • Do not lie on the heating pad.

  • Do not fall asleep while using the heating pad.

  • Do not use the heating pad near water.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You get blisters or red skin.

  • Your skin is puffy (swollen), or you lose feeling (numbness) in the affected area.

  • You have any new problems.

  • Your problems are getting worse.

  • You have any questions or concerns.

If you have any problems, stop using heat therapy until you see your doctor.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.