Using Heat for Pain Moist Heat vs. Dry Heat

What kind of heat to use for aches and pain.    Moist heat, heating pads, hot water bottle

We all have small aches and pains that creep up from time to time.  When you can't get in to see your regular massage therapist or chiropractor, at home solutions like heat can be really helpful.  Using heat is great way to treat your everyday aches, pains and tensions like:

  1. Neck and Shoulder tightness
  2. Muscle tension
  3. General stress
  4. Low back pain
  5. Period Cramps

Most people don't realize that there are 2 types of heat therapy out there: moist and dry and they have different effects on the body and tissue.  The most common I see are conventional heating pads or rice/Flax packs that go in the microwave.   While they are not bad, prolonged use of dry heat can actually dehydrate the tissues making them tighter over time.

Lets take a look at MOIST HEAT VS DRY HEAT and the pro and cons of each and examples of each so you can make the pick the right one for you.


How can I use Moist Heat?

An easy method of using moist heat is using small towels in very hot water rolled up and placed on the area of tension. However, there are better heating pads out there like the Thermophore.   It's quick to heat up gets really hot, and has several sizes depending on what you are looking for.

Thermophore Neck Pad

Thermophore Standard Pad

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Let us know if you have any additional questions about using heat for therapeutic purposes.  We are always happy to assist.

Melissa K. Merritt, LMT BCMT