In this article, we have tested and reviewed the best heating pads for sciatica. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot. Or you can scroll down for detailed product reviews.
Last update 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When it comes to sciatic pain, heat treatment is a perfect remedy for quick and long-lasting relief. Heat treatment is proven to help in pain and muscle soreness.
So, if you regularly complain of back soreness and sciatic pain, investing in a heating pad will be a wise decision. Let us first look at how heat therapy can help sciatic pain and then we will look at some of the best heating pads for sciatica and back pain.
Heat therapy for sciatica
Applying heat is a therapy for sciatica that has been around for a long time. The heat helps improve blood circulation decreases tension in the muscles, thereby immediately reducing the stress on the sciatic nerve. Applying heat relieves the pain from the source itself.
Heat therapy is one of the simplest and most inexpensive treatments for sciatica, with near-instant results. All you need is a good heating pad and the know-how of where to apply the pad to reduce the pain.
The video below shows how heat helps with your pain.
Heating Pads for Sciatic Pain
#1 MIGHTY BLISS™ Large Electric Heating Pad
The Might Bliss heating pad is our number one choice for heating pads in the market today.
Not only does it have super-fast heating, but you can also customize the heat levels as per your requirement to a low, medium or high setting, which is very important as you don’t want to accidentally scald yourself at a “high” setting all the time.
The Heating pad itself is made of soft micro plush fibers, which make the pad extremely comfortable on the skin. The pad comes in an XL size, so it is comfortably useful for almost anybody.
This heating pad can work on both moist and dry surfaces, so in case you are sweating after working out a set, don’t be worried about electric shocks!
The Mighty Bliss heating pad has a hassle-free no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee, so it’s a great option to just try it out, and you can always return it if it doesn’t work for you.
- Ultra-fast heating with multiple heat settings
- Microplush fabric for soft comfort
- XL sized pad can be used by one and all
- Works on both dry and moist surfaces
- Hassle-free warranty.
- There were a few complaints of the pad melting after a few uses.
#2 Pure Enrichment Electric Heating Pad
The Pure Enrichment heating pad is a close second in the list, but only because it does not have a lifetime warranty in place. The pad has a nice micro plush exterior and a polyester bottom exterior for a smooth and comfortable sensation on the skin. It comes in a fairly large size (12 X 24 inches).
The pad has super-fast heating, modulated by 6 heat settings as compared to the Might Bliss’s 4 heat settings. It also has a moist heating option like the might bliss.
- Super-fast heating with 6 heat settings
- Microplush exterior and polyester bottom
- Moist heating setting
- Large size (12X24 inch)
- Auto-cutoff after 120 minutes
- As per a few customers, the device overheats beyond the temperature setting set
#3 Sunbeam Heating Pad
Sunbeam is our number 3 choice among heating pads for sciatica. It has very similar features as the first two that we have mentioned here, though the difference lies in the quality and user feedback.
It has super-fast heating with 4 heat settings, a micro plush but machine washable exterior, fast heating, 2-hour cutoff and is a king-sized pad (12 X 24 inches)
- Fast heating, 4 heat settings
- Microplush exterior, machine washable
- 2-hour auto cutoff
- Large size
- Few customers complained that the heating pad stopped working after a few days
- The pad tends to overheat
#4 Cure Choice Large Electric Heating Pad
Another great heating pad choice, with a 12X 24-inch size and fast heating. The Cure choice has 3 heat settings, but a more simplistic controller that has a 1 button push method for setting the heat level.
If you are looking for simplicity in design then Cure Choice might be a good fit for you. The exterior is plush and machine washable. This pad is available in a multitude of colors and designs.
- Fast heating with 3 heat settings
- Single-button remote for ease of use
- Large size
- Easy to wash and comfortable exterior
- Many customers complained that it does not become hot enough for a good therapy
#5 GENIANI Electric Heating Pad
The Geniani electric heating pad has a plush exterior feel for superior comfort, a fast heating element that heats the pad in under 30 seconds. The device has a long extension cord so that you can use it in any room or carry it anywhere for use.
This pad also has a dry and moist configuration setup, along with an auto-shutoff at the end of 2 hours. It also comes with a 5-year warranty
- Dry and moist controls
- Superfast heating
- Auto shutoff feature
- 5-year warranty
- Many customers faced a faulty product received in shipping
- There were some complaints of overheating as well
#6 Sable Large Heating Pad
The Sable heating pad is different from others listed in this ranking. This is a super large-sized pad (33.5 X 17 inches), with a soft microfiber exterior that gently protects your skin. The device has fast heating and a 6 heat adjustment settings controller.
The device also has a 2-hour cutoff setting. The pad can be machine washed.
- Super large size (33.5 X 17.2 inches)
- Soft microfiber finish
- Fast heating with 6 heat settings
- Machine washable
- Some customers complained that the heating pad stopped working after some time
What is Sciatica?
The Sciatic nerve is the largest in the human body. It is formed by the combination of 5 different nerve roots in the spine and plays a critical role in connecting your spinal cord with the skin and muscles of your legs and thighs. When this nerve gets pinched by a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine, or the spine itself narrows down (a condition known as spinal stenosis), it causes Sciatica (or sciatic pain).
Sciatic pain can be very severe, though in most cases it is curable through simple non-operative treatments. Only a very severe case of sciatic pain may require surgical treatment.
What are the causes of Sciatica?
While the immediate causes of Sciatica are usually either a herniated disk in your spine or else overgrowth of bone on the vertebrae, several risk factors increase the probability of a person to develop Sciatica:
- Age: The most common reason for Sciatica is age. The probability of a herniated spine increases dramatically with age.
- Diabetes. Diabetes increases the chances of nerve damage in general.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Jobs that require you to sit for long periods, or else a propensity to be a couch potato can lead to bad posture and damage the spine, leading to sciatica.
- Obesity: Our body weight is supported by our spine whenever we are sitting or standing. Excess body weight puts stress on the spine, thus again increasing the chances of you developing sciatica over time.
What are the treatments for sciatica?
Most cases of sciatic pain are mild and can be cured by simple home remedies.
- Hot and Cold compression packs help to reduce sciatic pain.
- Over-the-counter pain relief drugs can be used by sciatica patients to relived mild pain
- Light walking and exercise can also help relieve sciatica
- In more severe cases, physical therapy can also be useful.
- For very acute cases there are two types of surgery that are generally recommended:
- Lumbar Laminectomy (widening of the spinal cord) or
- Discectomy(Partial or full removal of the herniated disk)
How to use a Heating pad for Sciatic Pain?
One might think it would be obvious how to use a simple device like a heating pad. In the case of Sciatic pain, this is not true. Sciatic pain shows its symptoms in the legs, thighs, and feet.
However, the real root of the problem is the spinal cord, as we discussed earlier. Therefore, you should apply the heating pad on the rear pelvis, to address the problem at the root. You may also use heat on the buttocks and thighs, to help relieve the pain in those parts.
Another way to apply heat therapy is to alternatively use hot and cold packs. Ice helps reduce inflammation in the affected area, while heat promotes healing by improving blood circulation and relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Make sure that the heating pad is warm, not hot. You don’t want to unnecessarily scald yourself. Try to keep a cloth barrier between the heating pad and your skin, to avoid direct contact with the heat. Also make sure not to lie on top of the heating pad, which can trap excess heat and cause permanent skin damage and discoloration.
Heating therapy should be avoided by patients of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal injuries.
Once you start getting relief from pain through heat therapy, try to do lower back stretches. Stretches help to strengthen your tissues and make the lower back more flexible. Strengthening your lower back will help reduce the recurrence of sciatic pain.
Sciatic pain can be a very troubling experience for anyone, it is one of the worst pains to bear. Sciatica causes a loop of muscle spasms followed by more pain, which leads to more spasms and so on. To break the loop, you can ascribe to several kinds of home remedies, but one of the best ones is Heat therapy, as performed through a simple electric heating pad.
Heating pads can give instant relief, need very little assistance from anyone else to operate and are fairly inexpensive. We have listed above some of the top heating pads in the market based on user reviews and our internal rankings.
As always, please consult with your doctor/medical practitioner before using any kind of therapy. Each person is unique and it is entirely possible that heat therapy may not be suited to your particular needs.