Moist Heat For Back Pain

Moist heat for back pain to relieve stiffness.

Hot Stone Massage at Witches Falls Cottages © by Witches Falls Cottages

Moist heat for back pain will help one of the main complaints that people have: That  is stiffness. You know the one…Not the sharp pain that comes from a fresh muscle strain or a bulging disc, but the burning, stretching type pain that comes when you bend over to pick something up.

Most of the time this can come from just overworked muscles or a low back muscle injury that is just slow in resolving. You would probably describe it as “nagging”.  Something that is taking it’s time to go away and has no problem reminding you it’s there every chance it gets.

Previous blog posts have pointed out the best treatment for a stiff back is finding a good stretch (just make sure that it’s a muscle and not something more serious) that targets just the right spot. Adding moist heat for back pain gives better results

Moist Heat For Back Pain Helps With Stretching

To get the most out of a stretching for low back pain program, you should invest in a moist heating pad (like this one). I recommend a moist heating pad versus just heat alone because moist heat has been shown to significantly increase blood flow to skin and muscle tissues. This stimulates healing from injuries.

But, more importantly, when you heat up your muscles and surrounding tissues, it actually will improve your ability to stretch your muscles. One of several studies found out that warming your muscles and tendons up prior to stretching them gave better results than just trying to stretch without heat.

The type of heating pad that gives you moist heat for back pain has a particular covering on it. When you turn it on, it just doesn’t get hot. It actually causes the area (not your whole body) to sweat. And, since you body part is covered by the moist heat pad, the moisture doesn’t get a chance to escape. Thereby it holds all the moisture between the skin and the electric moist heating pad.

Moist Heat For Back Pain: Electric Or Microwave?

There are a couple of different types of moist heating pads on the market. There are electric moist heating pads and microwave moist heat pads. I generally recommend the electric kind. The reason for this is that you have a lot more control over the amount of heat and how long it stays on. If you have back pain, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is running back and forth to the microwave oven to heat it up.

When you’re looking for moist heat for back pain from an electric moist heat pad, make sure you get one with an automatic shut off switch (like this one). You can program the time and the unit will automatcally shut off. That way, if you happen to doze off, the moist heat pad will not continue to run.

So, if you’re stretching for low back pain, you may want to get yourself an electric moist heating pad. You can use it prior to beginning your low back pain stretching routine. Find the area that is your most tight. Whether that’s the hammies, the hips, or the low back.

Then follow the instructions for the moist heat pad and apply it to the tight area before you stretch. Studies show that if you apply moist heat to the tight area for 15-20 minutes, you will have better results with your stretching for low back pain.

While any type of gentle exercising tends to help relieve lower back pain that’s brought on by stiff muscles, all exercises are helped by moist heat for back pain.


Back Massager For Car Seat

Should You Have A Back Massager For Your Car Seat?

It might be a pretty good idea to have a back massager for car seat if you are spending more than 1 hour at a time, or more than 4 hours a day combined in your car. A good car seat back massager can keep back muscles from becoming too stiff from long periods of inactivity like when you’re stuck in the cramped space in your car.

Pain and stiffness that frequently come from the prolonged sitting in a car or truck can actually be pretty painful when the ride is over and you have to “stand up straight”.   A lot of the people that I talk to say that trying to stand up straight after sitting for a long time is exactly when their back hurts the most.

Have you ever had an experience like this?: Trying to coax the muscles into relaxing first thing after getting out of the car from a long ride? It’s like trying to tell the Donald  that he’s fired. He’s not going to pay any attention to you and your back muscles probably won’t either!

Most people bribe their stiff backs with the thought of getting to the nearest chair (hopefully it’s overstuffed). Feet up, resting on a foot stool. Remote control in hand. That’s where most folks rest and let the muscles relax. Or, so they think.

There’s only one problem with this scenario. When you do this, you’re just putting them back in the same position they’ve been in most of the day. It’s not really solving the problem.

The reason your back muscles are stiff is because you’ve been sitting in the car all day. Your body is screaming for a little action. You need to stretch out the legs, hips, and back muscles top to bottom.

There are probably millions of people that go through this type of situation everyday. Some may not be driving all day long, but they’re sitting behind desks, or in front of computers, or at toll booths. Their muscles get locked up too.

Why Back Massager For Car Seat Helps Drivers

But the office workers have a little advantage over folks who are stuck driving all day. They aren’t cooped up in the front seat of a car with no room to move. Office workers can get up and walk around several times a day and get right back to work. Drivers, who are usually on a schedule, have a harder time just pulling over to walk around and stretch.

This is where drivers can benefit from using a back massager for car seats. While a car seat massager doesn’t actually do any stretching of the muscles, it can help. One thing that these car massagers do is help keep the blood circulating to and through the tissues. This helps because it  reduces stiffness.

There are basically two ways that this happens. First is the massage function. This naturally vibrates the muscle tissues. This action helps to push the blood and fluids through the arteries and veins bringing oxygen, water, and nutrients to those muscles that aren’t getting any movement in the car. Namely your back and back side.

Another thing that some car seat massagers have is a heating element. So, not only do your muscles get squeezed and vibrated with the massaging action, they also get a gentle heat to them. This also increases and improves circulation and works to keep the muscles flexible. However, this heating function may not be needed or even wanted if you’re living in a warm climate.

Is There A Good Back Massager For A Car Seat?

There are a couple of back massager s for car seat out there that get good marks by the people who have bought them. Both of the most popular ones are made by a company called “Homedics”.

The first one, called the Homedics VC-150 Back Revitalizer Heated Massage Cushion and Mat, is what most people have bought when they don’t need a top of the line car seat massager.  Most people say that it works well in the car and for shorter drives. They have tried it in a regular office chair but they say it works better in the car.

The other one that people think does a really good job adds a little twist to it. Instead of just giving you a vibrating massage in the car seat, it goes one better. It’s called the “Homedics MCS-200H Shiatsu Massage Cushion”. And what it does is provides a kneeding action because it has “shiatsu balls” in the cushion itself. These move around and give a feeling more like a massage.

Either of these two, or, another quality back massager for car seat will do the trick to help loosen up stiff muscles from having to sit too long. But, in addition to having a good car seat massager, it would be a good idea to participate in a regular stretching routine. Remember, stiff muscles need to be stretched out too. Not just massaged.

From my experience as a physical therapist, having a good electric massager has helped a lot of my patients who have had to deal with low back pain and stiffness.

If you are having stiff back from driving or too much sitting compare the Back Revitalizer to the Shiatsu Cushion Massager and see if you think that they would help.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone does too much sitting. I wrote about this in another post. In my opinion this is what has led to the huge increase in back injuries and complaints of back pain and stiffness. With most people staying active and moving around will help get rid of some, or all, of the problems. But, for those who drive or sit for long periods, finding a good back massager for car your car seat will help too.