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Best heating pad reviews 2022

What Is The Best Heating Pad: For Back / Neck / Shoulder Pain?

The use of heat therapy as pain relief dates back to 500BC when the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used the sun to help treat illnesses.

Today there are plenty of readily available heat pad products that you can enjoy in your own home.

In this article:

Heating Pad Reviews

To help you choose the one that’s right for you, we’ve shortlisted 15 of the best heating pads on the market right now:

1. Best for Performance: iReliev Weighted Heating Pad

4.5

Apply heat and a little pressure

Sometimes it can be frustrating to apply the kind of pressure you need with a heating pad.

Too much force and you risk irritating your skin, too little and you don’t experience the full warmth.

iReliev have fixed this problem with their Weighted Heat Pad.

You might know iReliev for creating some of the best TENS units on the market, however they also have a line of heat therapy products.

Product Highlights

  • Includes light weights
  • Three heat settings
  • Large size = great coverage

Potential Weaknesses

  • Some consumers felt the high setting could be hotter

Their weighted heating pad made with plush microfibers, includes light weights to allow you to mold it effectively to your body.

Heating up in seconds, the pad will automatically switch off after 90 minutes so don’t worry if the warmth soothes you to sleep.

You get an easy to use controller, with three heat therapy settings. We love how the controller can also be detached from the mat, a valuable feature that you don’t typically get with heat pads.

It means you can position the heating pad where you need it, then sit back comfortably and control the settings.

iReliev describe this pad as ‘king-size comfort’ and they’re not wrong!

It’s the same size as the popular Mighty Bliss large heating pad, measuring 24” x 12” giving you great coverage (though not as large as Ambershine’s XXXXL King Size Heating Pad).

Chilly users appreciated the heat of this mat, but it was the weight that was the real game changer.

They found it made the pad extra soothing and enabled them to position it exactly where they needed it with ease.

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
4.5
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2. Best for Neck Pain: Sunbeam Renue Contouring Neck and Shoulder Heating Pad

4.5

A neck wrap offering great coverage

When you’re struggling with neck pain, you need a pad that applies heat to your whole neck and shoulders.

Sunbeam Renue Contouring Neck and Shoulder Heating Pad does exactly that.

Unlike smaller heat pads that treat an isolated area, this mat contours to your neck with a tall collar delivering warmth from top to bottom.

Product Highlights

  • Contours to your neck
  • Four different heat levels
  • Super soft cover

Potential Weaknesses

  • Only designed for neck and shoulders

Weighted around the edges and with a magnetic fastening it fits comfortably and can be adjusted to fit necks of all sizes.

In terms of control you have the option of four different heat levels, controlled with a simple unit on a 9ft cord.

Covered in soft micromink fabric it’s easy to wash, simply pop it in the washing machine and it’s ready for the next day.

Users reported using the wrap every day with wonderful results – one person actually called it the ‘Cadillac’ of heating pads!

One frustration with heat pads in general can be the fact that they don’t evenly distribute the warmth, however it didn’t seem to be a problem with this pad.

Many described how they could feel the warmth throughout the wrap, soothing their discomfort.

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
4.5
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3. Best for Price: Cure Choice Large Electric Heating Pad

4.5

Choose from moist or dry heat therapy

When you need a pad to cover a large area, then invest in the Cure Choice Electric Heating Pad. Made from microplush fibers, it feels soft and comfortable, and measures in at a huge 12” x 24”.

The size of this large pad makes it extra versatile, you can lay it on your back, use it around your arm or even pop it on your shoulder to provide relief exactly where you need it.

If you love the size of the iReliev weighted pad but want to spend a little less, this is the one for you.

Product Highlights

  • Low price
  • Large size = Great coverage
  • Three heat settings

Potential Weaknesses

  • Not cordless (but includes a 9ft power cord!)

On the Cure Choice pad you can choose from the low, medium or high setting, plus it can be used moist or dry.

Using a heat pad while moist is proven to help reduce pain and muscle soreness quicker than dry heat due to the way it helps the heat penetrate the skin.

It is worth mentioning that the mat isn’t cordless but does have an extra-long 9ft power cord.

Those who purchased the pad were falling over themselves to tell everyone how fantastic it was, with many describing it as the best heating pad ever.

People loved how evenly it heated and how satisfying it was particularly for back pain.

It also seemed to be the purrfect place for feline friends!

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
4.5
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4. Best for Shoulder Pain: Revix Microwavable Heating Pad for Neck & Shoulders

4.4

A versatile and flexible pad you can use hot or cold

This microwavable heat wrap from Revix is seriously versatile.

Made from a soft fleecy material and with two handles, you can drape it around your neck, your knee or anywhere else on your body that would benefit from a little warmth.

Product Highlights

  • Heats in the microwave
  • Cordless
  • Can be used hot or cold

Potential Weaknesses

  • Smaller size

Filled with organic flaxseeds, millets and clay beads, place it in the microwave for just a few minutes and it’s ready to go.

Unlike some heat pads that require a wall socket, this can be carried with you for whenever you need some relief.

Amazingly Remix’s pad can be used for heat or cold therapy.

Cold therapy might not sound soothing. Yet it has been shown to be effective for treating pain, particularly as a tool for back pain.

So the tricky decision might be whether to place it in the microwave or in the freezer!

Users of the pad raved about how long it kept its warmth, and appreciated the control the handles provided.

Our Rating: 4.4 / 5
4.4
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5. Best for Feet: Electric Foot Warmer Heating Pad

4.3

Heat just for your feet!

Why should your back and neck get all the attention? Save a little bit of love for your feet.

Bluestone have created this snuggly little foot warmer that you can just slip your feet inside.

Product Highlights

  • Three different heat settings
  • Ideal for foot pain
  • Extra long power cord

Potential Weaknesses

  • Designed only for your feet

It’s a great tool to ease any foot pain you’re experiencing, and the perfect way to unwind after a busy day.

Sure one of the larger heating pads like the Mighty Bliss can wrap around your feet. But this is specially designed for your feet, with a plush exterior and soft, fuzzy interior.

Plug in the electric foot warmer and choose from three different heating settings, low, medium and high.

Keep it clean by simply detaching the extra lord cord and placing it in the washing machine.

Don’t worry about falling asleep either, it has an auto shut-off function so it switches itself off after two hours.

Our Rating: 4.3 / 5
4.3
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6. Best for Full Body: HealthyLine Soft Mesh Far Infrared Heating Pad

4.2

Healing at its most luxurious

If you’re suffering from pain throughout your whole body then you might want to consider the Healthyline Soft Mesh Far Infrared Heating Pad.

Compared to the other heat pads on the list, this one is pricey, but just look at it!

It’s beautiful, covered in 154 natural jade and tourmaline gemstones.

Product Highlights

  • Covered in gemstones
  • Features far infrared, negative ion and hot stone heat therapy
  • Coverage for your whole body

Potential Weaknesses

  • More expensive than competitor products

Made up of multiple layers and with a soft mesh cover, you can enjoy both hot stone and negative ion therapy, as well as deep penetrating far infrared heat.

Research has shown how infrared therapy, which penetrates the body to gently raise your temperature, can be amazing for back pain.

The softness of the cover also allows it to be used comfortably on the floor, bed, sofa or even simply propped against the wall.

Shipping with a free waterproof case, you can also protect the pad when you store it away.

If you like the idea of far infrared therapy but have a smaller budget, then take a look further down at the iReliev Far Infrared Heating Pad.

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
4.2
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7. Best for Back Pain: Hyperice Venom Back

4.1

Wearable heat that hugs your back

Our busy way of life means you don’t always have time to sit back and relax with a heating pad, sometimes you need heat that moves with you.

If so you might want to take a look at the Hyperice Venom Back.

Product Highlights

  • Wearable device
  • Heats up in just 90 seconds
  • Includes vibration massage

Potential Weaknesses

  • Designed for use on your back only
  • Can’t be worn discreetly

This wearable neoprene device straps around your waist and delivers heat directly to your lower back.

Move through three accelerating levels to reach the warmth that works for you. It heats up fast, reaching 160°F within 90 seconds.

Not just that, but the device also has four vibration pods that, combined with the heat, can help to loosen up and relax sore muscles.

It’s worth mentioning that though the wrap is snug and comfortable, it does have a large dial on the front so you can easily control the settings. This does mean however, that it wouldn’t really be possible to wear it discreetly.

So if you’re looking for something to wear under your clothes then you might prefer the Sunbeam GoHeat Portable Heated Patches.

Our Rating: 4.1 / 5
4.1
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8. Best for Sleep: Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad

4.2

Heat your whole body as you sleep

If you want true full body coverage then why not add a heated mattress pad to your bed?

This pad from Sunbeam is super soft and available in twin, full, queen or king size.

Product Highlights

  • 10 different heat settings
  • Available in twin, full, queen or king size
  • Heats your whole body

Potential Weaknesses

  • Some consumers reported being able to feel the wiring

Unlike most heat pads that have a choice of three or four heat settings, this mattress cover has 10 different heat options.

Use the handy controller to select the one you want then lay back and relax.

Sunbeam’s Heated Mattress Pad also includes ThermoFine technology that provides consistent heat, adjusting automatically throughout the night to ensure you don’t get too hot.

Imagine sinking into a heated bed at night and feeling all your aches and pains just melt away.

On a practical note, it’s machine-washable, so you can keep everything hygienic.

Some did report being able to feel the wiring underneath the mattress pad when lying down.

However primarily people felt they got real bang for the buck and most importantly a great night’s sleep!

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
4.2
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9. Best for Migraines: Nature's Approach Home Spa 4-Piece Heating Pad Set with Herbal Aromatherapy Fill

4.4

A 4-piece set for relaxation and pain relief

In this set from Nature’s Approach you get a microwavable shoulder wrap, belted lumbar wrap, lavender eye pillow and peppermint sinus pack.

Each piece in the set (apart from the sinus pack) can be heated in the microwave then either strapped to you or placed where you need it.

Product Highlights

  • Four differently sized heat pads
  • Heat in the microwave
  • Made from organic materials

Potential Weaknesses

  • Won’t retain heat as long as electric heating pads

It makes the set super practical for relaxation and pain relief whether you need it on your back, neck or shoulder.

With Nature’s Approach, the focus is on all-natural, organic materials.

Inside the packs are organic grains, a mixture of rice and flaxseed, with peppermint and lavender.

People struggling with cramps appreciated the warmth of the different pads, and commented on the amazing smell!

You also get to choose from a range of different fun prints, including the Angel design (pictured above).

Our Rating: 4.4 / 5
4.4
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10. Best for Far Infrared: iReliev Far Infrared Heating Pad

4

A simpler way to experience far infrared heat

You’ll notice that we’ve listed two other far infrared heating pads in this article, both of which offer the treatment plus a range of other therapies.

However if you want a simpler (and more affordable) way to enjoy deep penetrating heat then this mat from iReliev is a great alternative.

Product Highlights

  • Features natural jade and tourmaline stones
  • Includes far infrared heat therapy
  • Affordable

Potential Weaknesses

  • Not as large as competitor infrared heating pads

Combining all-natural jade and tourmaline, the pad uses far infrared wavelengths to go deeper into your back, hamstrings, arms and shoulders.

iReliev explain that it can boost your immune system, improve your energy levels and even absorb stress and anxiety.

They’ve recently updated the remote to create a sleeker design, while retaining the simple to use controls to help you get the most from the mat.

Users frequently refer to it as the best heating pad they’ve ever purchased, explaining how perfect it is for joint pain and muscle recovery.

They love the way it can be used while lying down, but also tucked into your back while seated in your favorite chair.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
4
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11. Best for Travel: Sunbeam GoHeat Portable Heated Patches

4

Portable (and rechargeable) pain relief

The problem with investing in either an electric or microwavable heat pad is that you’re required to be somewhere to either plug it in or heat it up!

Introducing Sunbeam GoHeat Portable Patches.

Place the patches where you need on your body, then switch on the control unit (that you can clip on the back of your pants).

Product Highlights

  • Portable and wearable pain relief
  • Lasts for eight hours
  • Three different heat settings

Potential Weaknesses

  • Only able to treat small areas

Choose from three different heat settings, or opt for the 20 minute high / medium cycle when you need penetrating pain relief.

You can enjoy up to eight hours of heat – what could be better on those days when your back is really suffering?

Then simply recharge the control unit and you’re all ready to go for the next day.

Shoppers described how by using the patches permanently on high power they didn’t get the promised eight hours of heat, but could get a solid four hours.

They also described how intense the heat was, incredibly satisfying for those recovering from surgery and trying to avoid taking pain relief medication.

You’re of course only able to treat small areas at any one time, however you have the portable soothing heat to keep moving on those tough days.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
4
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12. Best for Low Back Pain: Sunbeam Heating Pad Back Wrap

4.2

Wrap your back in super soft heat

Another great product from Sunbeam is their Heating Pad Back Wrap.

The supersoft micromink fabric wraps around your back and secures in place with a waist strap.

Product Highlights

  • Great for low back pain
  • Four different heat settings
  • Low price

Potential Weaknesses

  • Only designed for use on lower back

With an attached remote control it has four different heat settings ranging from warm to high.

You can even spray the wrap with water so you can enjoy the benefits of moist heat.

Plus it has a two hour auto shut-off so you can be sure it won’t overheat.

People couldn’t believe the relief they could enjoy, particularly because the wrap is so affordable compared to other heat pads on the market.

Compare it to the Hyperice Venom Back and you won’t get the same level of heat or the vibration functions.

However you will still get a soothing product great for your mid and lower back.

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5
4.2
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13. Best for Microwave: Happy Wraps Microwavable Herbal Neck Wrap

4.3

An affordable way to manage neck pain

For neck pain and stress relief, we like the Happy Wraps Herbal Neck Wrap due to the low price tag and luxurious material that gives your neck a little hug while you carry on with daily life.

Product Highlights

  • Low price
  • Can be used hot or cold
  • Includes free eye pillow and sleep mask

Potential Weaknesses

  • Won’t retain heat as long as an electric heating pad

The price also includes a free eye pillow and sleep mask!

Filled with a blend of herbs and organic flax seeds, it can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer if you want cold therapy.

Some users felt the heat doesn’t last long enough, however with just one minute in the microwave it can be reheated quickly and many commented on how amazing it smells.

Our Rating: 4.3 / 5
4.3
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14. Best for Coverage: Ambershine XXXXL King Size Heating Pad

4.4

Cover yourself in XXXXL warmth!

This extra, extra, extra, extra large heating pad is perfect if you’re looking for something you can crawl under and create your own cosy paradise!

To put this into context, it’s 9 inches longer than the Cure Choice and 5 inches wider.

Product Highlights

  • Much larger than competitor products
  • Six different heat settings
  • Heats up in seconds

Potential Weaknesses

  • Control unit is not detachable (does have a 9ft cord!)

You get more control over your heat too, with six different settings to choose from.

Made from a soft microplush fabric, it heats up in just a few seconds.

Unlike the iReliev Weighted Heating Pad, the control unit is not detachable, though it does have a 9ft cord so you should be able to use it comfortably from any position.

Back pain sufferers appreciated the amount of coverage they could get with this mat and how quickly it heated.

Our Rating: 4.4 / 5
4.4
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15. Best for Menstrual Cramps: Ostrichpillow Heatbag

4

Heat therapy you can snuggle up with

If you’re searching for a heat pad for menstrual cramps then you’ll enjoy snuggling up with this Ostrichpillow Heatbag.

Made up of eight different layers, including a recycled memory foam cover, it is lined with soft jersey fabric so it looks great and is perfect for hugging.

Product Highlights

  • Perfect for menstrual cramps
  • Can be used hot or cold
  • Use on different areas of the body

Potential Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t offer full body coverage

Contained inside is a bag of natural clay that can be heated in the microwave or left in the freezer, so you can enjoy it both hot and cold.

Also thanks to the two differentiated sides, the warmth or cold is distributed evenly to avoid you getting burnt.

People who bought the Heatbag loved the versatility of the product, feeling that they used it more often than a traditional blanket-style heat pad.

Our Rating: 4 / 5
4
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How We Review & Rate

Here at The Good Body we’ve spent years rating and reviewing health products, including heating pads.

In this article we’ve shortlisted 15 of the best products on the market, highlighting key features so you can make the right decision for you.

To come to an accurate rating we consider a number of different factors, including versatility, variety of heat settings, portability and size. We also take into consideration customer feedback based on reviews from various websites.

Taking all this information, plus our knowledge of the industry, allows us to come up with a rating that gives you the best overall view of the product.

Buying Guide

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the products out there, then we’ve put together a Heating Pads buying guide below.

We’ve explained each of the functions and features you can consider to find the right product for your needs.

Types of Heating Pads

There are a number of different types of heat pad available. Below we’ve described the various features to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

For Different Parts of the Body

Neck / Back / Shoulders

Across the marketplace there are a variety of heating pads available targeting neck and shoulder pain. These tend to be contoured to your neck and designed to drape around your shoulders or hug your neck.

Back and Spine

XL Heating Pads are available to help treat back pain when you require full back coverage. Smaller pads can be more effective if you want to target a key area of your spine that is causing you pain.

Knees

Knee support heat pads are also available if you want to delivered targeted heat to your knee.

With Different Heating Methods

Electric

Electric pads heat the surface of the skin and can reach high temperatures. They work when connected to the mains, though rechargeable devices are available.

Infrared

Infrared heat pads deliver deeper and more penetrated heat than traditional electric heating methods, as they don’t just heat the surface of the skin.

Moist

Moist heat pads, like infrared, can penetrate deeper into the skin and increase tissue elasticity.

They are often used when skin dehydration is a concern, for example in patients with dry or aging skin.

Some heating pads can be used moist or dry, so this could be a feature worth considering.

Microwave

Pads that are heated in the microwave, are generally filled with wheat and natural remedies such as lavender. They are often a more affordable option.

Non-Electric Heating Pads

Non-electric options such as Snappy Heat Pads require no charge, you simply snap the metal disc which then generates the heat. They are ideal options for traveling.

For When You’re Out and About

Travel Heating Pad

Normally supplied with a handy storage bag, a travel heat pad can be folded away easily.

USB Heating Pad

Though not considered a strong option due to the temperatures they reach and the poor quality materials they tend to be made from, USB heating pads offer an alternative to carrying a bulky heat pad with power cord when traveling.

Cordless/Rechargable Heating Pad

Not just for out and about, a cordless / rechargeable heating pad can also be great for at home if you want to sit somewhere but don’t have access to a plug.

Features of Heating Pads – What to Consider

Choosing the heat pad that is right for you can be tricky with so many different options available. See below some of the many different features on offer so you can work out exactly what product you’re looking for:

Auto Shut Off

Any product that you use in your home and that heats up is obviously a danger if you forget to turn it off, or if you simply fall asleep using it.

See what auto shut off function the heat pad offers, if any, and the length of time it will stay on before automatically switching off.

Consider as well if a short auto shut off may frustrate you if you’re looking to use a heat pad for a consistent period of time.

Timer

Heat pads offer different timer functions, giving you the ability to easily control how long your heat therapy lasts.

Size of Pad

Depending on the size of the area you want to treat, there are a number of different sizes of pads available. Smaller pads for targeted pain relief and larger pads for treating wider areas such as the spine.

Number of Heat Settings

Each pad offers a number of heat settings. More options will give you greater flexibility over your treatment.

Memory Functions

Memory functions are available on some pads so they can remember the heat settings you use regularly. This is useful if you struggle to get to the source of your pain.

Heat up Time

If you’re looking for a heat pad that you can use quickly in a morning then heat up time may be important to you. There are some pads that can heat up in seconds and others that will take a little longer.

Material

Different fabrics are used on the cover of the heat pad to distribute the heat effectively so it’s worth doing a little research before purchasing.

Length of Power Cord

Some heat pads offer a longer power cord which may not seem a major consideration, however if there’s a location you’ll want to use your pad regularly consider if there’s a plug socket available close by.

Temperature Range

Check out the highest temperature the pad can reach to make sure it’s going to satisfy your needs.

Heating Method

The method used to heat, whether it’s electric, infrared, microwave or some other form of non-electric heat. Consider what is right for your condition.

Benefits

Heat therapy is used to treat a number of different conditions:

Arthritis

Studies have shown that heat therapy can give arthritis sufferers some relief from their pain.

Particularly with those suffering from arthritis in the hands, heat therapy was found to have short term benefits when used daily.

However for certain forms of arthritis it can have a negative effect so it is worth checking with your doctor before you try any form of heat therapy.

Fibromyalgia

As fibromyalgia pain isn’t caused by inflammation, heat therapy is the perfect option for symptom relief, helping to relax tender muscles within the body and improve flexibility.

Here are a number of different ways you can apply heat to your joints.

Muscle Spasms

Heat therapy or heat pads are useful in the treatment of muscle spasms. However professionals advise waiting at least 72 hours after spasms start to allow inflammation to go down. Moist heat is also recommended over dry heat due to the risks of dehydration.

Cancer

The American Cancer Society suggests heat therapy as a non-medical treatment method to help stimulate the skin and offer relief from day to day pain. However it isn’t recommended for those undergoing radiation treatment.

Lower Back Pain

The American College of Physicians recommend heat therapy as a treatment for lower back pain as in recent studies it has been shown to offer daily relief from pain.

FAQs

How does a heating pad work?

Are infrared heat pads better than electric heat pads?

How hot does a heating pad get?

Is a heating pad good for back pain?

Is a heating pad good for menstrual cramps?

Is a heating pad good for arthritis?

Is a heating pad good for sciatica?

Are heating pads safe to use during pregnancy?

Will a heat pad reduce swelling?

Can you sleep on a heating pad?

Who is a heat pad not suitable for?

How much do heating pads cost?

Where can I buy a heating pad?

So heat looks like a great option for many different conditions, and with such a variety of products to select from, what are you waiting for!

Laura Smith

Author

Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.

References

  1. Ingraham, P. (2020). Heat for Pain and Rehab [Online]. http://PainScience.com. Available from: https://www.painscience.com/articles/heating.php [Accessed 13 October 2021].
  2. Ingraham, P. (see footnote 1)
  3. Landau, M. (2020). 10 Home Remedies to Relieve Menstrual Cramps [Online]. Everyday Health. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/treatment/womens-health/ways-to-relieve-period-cramps/ [Accessed 13 October 2021].
  4. Kambach, B. (2015). Applying Heat vs. Cold to an Arthritic Joint [Online]. Arthritis Health. Available from: https://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/alternative-treatments/applying-heat-vs-cold-arthritic-joint [Accessed 13 October 2021].
  5. Kambach, B. (see footnote 4)
  6. Funiciello, M. (2019). How to Apply Heat Therapy for Your Sciatica Symptoms [Online]. Spine Health. Available from: https://www.spine-health.com/blog/how-apply-heat-therapy-your-sciatica-symptoms [Accessed 13 October 2021].
  7. King, T. (2021). Is it safe to use a heating pad for sore muscles during pregnancy? [Online]. Baby Center. Available from: https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/health-and-safety/is-it-safe-to-use-a-heating-pad-for-sore-muscles-during-preg_1245286 [Accessed 13 October 2021].
  8. Sambrook, J. (2016). Heat and Ice Treatment for Pain [Online]. Patient. Available from: https://patient.info/treatment-medication/painkillers/heat-and-ice-treatment-for-pain [Accessed 13 October 2021].