The Food and Drug Administration recognises infrared heating pads as a useful medical device. Infrared heating pads should be used for no longer than 45 minutes at a time and should not be used while sleeping overnight. Infrared heating pads may help alleviate pain and inflammation associated with chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia.
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Infrared rays penetrate deep into the body to reach the body tissues and joints. Regular heating pads only deliver heat to the top 2 or 3 millimetres of skin tissue; however, infrared heating pads deliver heat as deep as 2.36 inches.
Infrared heating pads allow patients with fibromyalgia to treat their pain and inflammation on a regular basis at home. According to Back Pain Relief, infrared heating pads help the body to speed up the natural healing process. Also, infrared heating pads provide a safe, natural alternative to pain medications. Infrared heating pads do not dry out or burn the top layer of skin when used properly.
Regular heating pads work from the outside of the body to the inside, whereas infrared heating pads work from the inside out. Also, infrared light therapy continues to work even after removing the heating pad. These lasting benefits may help individuals with fibromyalgia to manage their pain and muscle stiffness.
Infrared heating pads costs up to £130. For some, this may be beyond their budget. Insurance companies probably will not cover the cost of infrared treatments. Also, Medicare has concluded infrared treatments lack substantial evidence to support their use for treating pain-relating conditions. Thus, Medicare will not cover the expense of infrared heating pads.
According to LEF.org, researchers in China and Japan have conducted studies suggesting that infrared light therapy improves circulation, helps prevent insomnia and reduces inflammation, stiffness and pain. One study found that patients with fibromyalgia experienced a 78 per cent reduction in pain after 10 infrared sessions.
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