heating pads

Are heating pads becoming passé?

Thanks to infrared light pain relief therapy, heating pads may now become passé as more people discover its therapeutic advantages and begin to use small hand-held infrared light machines to alleviate their pains in the privacy and convenience at home. It has also become a preferred method of treating pain and stiffness by professional sports teams as well as different branches of the United States military.

Basically, these machines act naturally to direct strong therapeutic waves of warm light directly into the body in order to increase blood flow and raise the temperature in the tissues. This eases stiffness in joints such as the hips, elbows, and knees, as well as reduces muscle spasms whenever needed. In fact, many people report temporary relief from chronic arthritis and bursitis as well as tension headaches without the need of medication when used regularly.

The overuse of anti-inflammatory medicines (known collectively as NSAIDs) has been known to cause a number of serious side effects. These include ailments such as stomach ulcers, heart damage, kidney damage and even swelling of the legs, etc.

The way the machines work is that the heat from the infrared light causes the release of nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which in turn dilates the blood vessels. This allows more oxygen to reach the various muscle tissues and help it heal.

In addition, the nitric oxide acts to decrease or get rid of the pain in the nerves. This has proved very beneficial in helping diabetics reverse the effects of a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, where damage to the nerves can cause either numbness or severe pain.

Other conditions also temporary relieved include carpal tunnel syndrome, sinusitis, and fibromyalgia, In the meantime, success using infrared therapy has also been seen in helping stimulate cell regeneration and reducing the development of scar tissue.

While there are several different manufacturers now offering infrared light machines for home use the technology employed is basically the same, consisting of hand-held base units with flexible LED pads.

Controls come with low, medium and high settings for maximum comfort, as well as on and off switches and automatic timers. In addition, machines are portable and can be operated by batteries or plugged into electrical outlets with use of adapters.

It should be noted that warranties are extremely limited ranging from 60 days to a maximum of about 2-years depending on the individual products.

Top-Rated Devices

According to a report posted online by LightTherapyDevice.com (a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program) the following machines have been named as their top picks for 2017:

*DPL FlexPad

The device (which is attached to the body via adjustable Velcro® straps) is embedded with an alternating array of 60 LED infrared and red lights red medical-grade designed to emit light deep into affected tissues. Although primarily used on arms and legs, it can be placed on other parts of the body as well and has received FDA approval for treating arthritis, sprains, strains, stiffness, swelling and wound healing. Recommended sessions consist of up to 20 minutes as needed throughout the day..

*reVive Light Therapy

Like the DPL FlexPad this hand-held OTC Class II medical device had also received FDA approval for any body region as well as all types of skin. The light can be directly applied to the skin. However, the manufacturer recommended that each treatment is limited to 14-minutes, no more than twice a day for best results.

*TENDLITE

About half the size of the reVive Light at a mere 5: inches long, the TENDLITE is meant to be used for small spot treatments daily on any area of the body. However, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it should only be used for 1-3 minutes two or three times per day. The device comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, a one-year warranty on the entire fixture and a lifetime warranty on the LED bulb.

*Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp

This device is designed to bring soothing relief in the case of sinus problems, bronchial congestion, joint pain or muscle aches. However, for safety reasons, the lamp must be positioned no closer than 15-20 inches from the affected area, and protective eyewear must be worn during sinus treatment. The unit can be programmed for use from 1-15 minutes and will automatically shut itself off when the set time runs out.

Figerm Red LED Light

This is another hand-held device suitable for spot treatments anywhere on the body and can be used on all skin types. Similar in size and appearance to an electronic thermometer, the FIGERM red light features a central 808nm red light surrounded by 12 red lights functioning at a wavelength of 650nm. This can reportedly be applied directly to the skin thanks to its low level intensity.

Note: Infrared pain therapy is also used by many veterinarians to treat dogs and cats as well as other domestic and wild animals.

About Diana Duel

Diana Duel is an eclectic writer who has written on everything from woodstove and fireplace cooking to automotive topics and holistic medicine. As an advocate of health and wellbeing, Diana also writes several columns related to these subject.

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