Heating Pad for Back Pain: Far Infrared vs. Electric (Regular)

electric heating pad compared with far infrared

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There’s no doubt that using a heating pad for back pain is a great way to get dramatic back pain relief – without medication.

But why are far infrared heating pads more expensive than electric heating pads? do they relieve pain better? for longer?

Let’s take a look at the (major) differences between the commonly used electric heating pad and far-infrared heating pad, to help you make the best choice.

Heating Pad for Back Pain – Electric vs. Infrared

 Electric Heating PadsInfrared Heating Pads
Heat viaCarbon fibersCarbon fibers
Jade stones
Amethyst Stones
Tourmaline stones
Heat Penetration2-3 mmup to 5 cm
EMF radiationHighLow
Pain ReliefUntil you turn it offUp to 6 hours after treatment

The “regular” heating pad for back pain that you can get from your local pharmacy uses electricity to create heat. This type of heat penetrates a mere 2-3 mm and basically only warms your skin (and in some cases burns it, as it did mine).

The heat never reaches deep into your muscles, tissues or organs. This is exactly why any pain relief you feel disappears the minute your pad is shut off.

On the other hand, the far-infrared heating pad uses natural jade stones, or carbon fibers to emit infrared rays, which penetrate much deeper into your body – all the way to your muscles, nerves and bones. 

When far infrared waves penetrate through the skin it turns from light energy into heat energy.

Using a far-infrared heating pad for about 30 minutes can get you up to 6 hours (!!) of back pain relief – without any medication.

Plus, the deep penetrating infrared rays do not only relieve your pain, they actually increase blood circulation in your muscles and help your body HEAL the injured area – faster.

infrared heating pad versus regular

Safety of Electric Heating Pads vs. Infrared

Infrared rays are a part of the Sun’s invisible spectrum. It can’t be seen but it can be felt as heat. They can’t burn you and are 100% safe for all living things.

Far infrared heating pads do not emit UV radiation at all.

It is so safe in fact, that Far Infrared heat is used in many neonatal units.

Electric heating pads, on the other hand, produce something else other than heat. They produce an electromagnetic field (EMF).

All electric devices produce electromagnetic fields and by now most of us know how dangerous EMF radiation can be.

This is why you should not live in a house near high voltage power lines. According to the EPA, these fields have been linked to leukemia, lymphomas and other types of cancer.

If that’s not enough, just ask around and you will learn how many people have suffered skin burns caused by their heating pad.

Electric Heating Pad vs. FIR Heating

While an electric heating pad has no other health benefits other than temporarily heating of your skin, the Journal of American Medical has published a list of the health benefits of far infrared therapy:

  • Long-lasting pain relief
  • Reduction of arthritis pain
  • Increasing of blood circulation (promoting a faster recovery and cleansing of your whole body)
  •  Helps to remove toxins in the body
  • Improves range of motion
  • Promotes stress relief and relaxation Reduction in pain

Where Can You Get a Far Infrared Heating Pad?

You can use the healing benefits of far-infrared heat in the comfort of your own home.

All you have to do is find a high-quality infrared pad, at the size that fits you most (according to your body type) and choose whether you want it to use Jade stones or carbon fiber.

The Top 2 Far Infrared Heating Pads

We’ve researched and found the 4 best far infrared heating pads for back pain:

utk medium infrared heating pad

UTK infrared heating pad – get %20 discount with our coupon code HERE

UTK Infrared Heat Therapy Healing Tourmaline Mat

Ereada far infrared heating pad

One of them use Jade Stones to emit infrared rays, the other uses carbon fibers. One of them is cheaper from the other, but for a good reason.

Before you buy, please take a look at our head to head comparison between these top 4 infrared heating pads, including a detailed review for each of them.

What do you think? Are infrared pads better than electric pads?

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

Meital James

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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