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Heat Therapy For Pain: Moist Heat Versus Dry Heat

Feb 6, 2018 8:28:00 AM / by Wellcare

Moist Heat vs Dry Heat

Heat therapy, also known as thermotherapy, has long used been used for the relief of bodily aches and pains. According to doctors, there are many benefits to using heat therapy such as:

  • Reduction of joint stiffness

  • Relief of pain in different areas of the body

  • Prevention of muscle spasms

  • Enhanced blood circulation

  • Decrease in inflammation

There are two kinds of heat that can be used in heat therapy: dry heat and moist heat. You need to understand the differences between the two in order to know which one is going to work best for you. So, read on.

Dry heat

This is a type of heat therapy that draws water out of your skin. Products that provide dry heat therapy can include electric heating pads, heating cushions, and heat patches.


The primary edge of dry heating products is that they are convenient and very easy to use. If you have an electric heat product like a heating pad, all you have to do is plug it in and apply it to the affected area.

Electric products like heating pads are lightweight and highly portable, so they can be used virtually anywhere. This is great if you have back pain that flares up multiple times a day. You can place a heating pad on your back while sitting down and watching TV at night, or while seating behind your desk at the office.

Another benefit of dry heating products is that they produce even and consistent heat. With an electric heating pad, the temperature will stay the same for the duration of your use, and high-quality ones even have a feature that automatically shuts off the product after a certain time. This eliminates the risks of the product overheating as well as you potentially burning or skin.


Since dry heat pulls moisture away from the skin, using dry heating products can lead to dehydrated skin. If you have problems with dry skin, avoid using dry heat products for long periods of time.

Moist heat

This type of heat therapy uses moisture (hot water) to relieve pain. Sources of moist heat can include hot baths, moist heat packs, hot jacuzzis, and steamed towels.


Moist heat uses water, so it does not cause dehydration unlike dry heating methods. It also penetrates deeper into your tissues, making it far more effective than dry heat. When used in the same amount of time (30 minutes) moist heat therapy has a greater effect on pain reduction than dry heat therapy.

This type of heat therapy also speeds up your rehabilitation by increasing circulation to areas affected by pain. The improved circulation allows the fresh blood that flows throughout your body to promote better healing and eliminate toxins that can hinder your recovery.

Due to its myriad of benefits, doctors usually recommend the use of moist heat therapy over dry heat therapy.


One of the main disadvantages of moist heat therapy is the drop in temperature after a few minutes in. If you’re in your bathtub at home taking a hot bath, the water will naturally get colder the longer you stay.

Another challenge in using moist heat therapy for pain relief is that it’s not as convenient as dry heat. When you’re in the office, for example, you can’t take a hot bath easily. In addition to that, if you don’t have your own jacuzzi or hot tub, paying to use the one at your local spa on a regular basis can get rather expensive.

Remember to talk to an expert

It’s important that you seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing chronic pain. Remember, heat therapy is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is used to soothe pain and other minor symptoms, but it is not a cure for any physical condition.


Choose Wellcare


Are you looking for an easy and convenient way to manage your back pain? Then look no further than Wellcare’s soothing heating pads, which are made of high-quality fleece to ensure maximum comfort. They’re manufactured under strict guidelines, so they’re completely safe to use.


What’s great about our heating pads is that they aren’t just for your back. You can also use them on your shoulders, abdomen, or legs—basically any part of your body.


So, what are you waiting for? Grab a Wellcare product today.


We aspire for better health for our readers, liberate them from their painful episodes, and empower them to pursue their goals and aspirations, and future endeavours pain-free.


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Topics: Heat Therapy Information


Written by Wellcare

Wellcare Co., LTD. was established in 1995 with “increasing the value of life and creating family happiness” as the company’s original goal with a focus on delivering better life experience through healthcare products and relaxation technologies.

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