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Neck and shoulder heating pads may ease muscle aches. Most of these devices warm up quickly and may help alleviate soreness within minutes.

This article discusses neck and shoulder heating pads in more detail, choosing one, health considerations, and alternatives. It also explores whether neck and shoulder heating pads can help relieve pain.

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According to research, passive heat therapy dates to ancient times when the Egyptians used the sun for healing.

Some types of pain may respond better to heat therapy than others. Heat improves circulation, so blood can deliver oxygen and nutrients to sore muscles, allowing them to heal.

A recent meta-analysis into heat and cold therapy for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) found that hot pack therapy could promote recovery. Both heat and cold therapy were effective in reducing DOMS pain.

The researchers concluded that higher-quality research is necessary to determine whether heat or cold therapy is more effective.

An older study found that using heat or cold pads alongside ibuprofen was mildly effective in reducing neck and back pain. However, the researchers noted that the pain relief may have been due primarily to using ibuprofen.

However, a person should not use heat therapy to replace more conventional forms of treatment. Individuals should speak with their doctor about any long-term aches or pain and if heat or cold therapy is more suitable.

Learn more about hot and cold therapy.

Neck and shoulder heating pads are relatively safe products. However, they do pose some risks and require users to take precautions.

People should consider a product’s safety features, including:

  • Temperature control: Most electric heating pads come with a temperature control function. Additionally, those who use microwavable heating pads should take care when removing them from the microwave to avoid burns.
  • Automatic shut-off: People may consider purchasing an electronic neck and shoulder heating pad with this important safety feature, which shuts off the device after a set time to minimize the risk of fire.
  • Heat-resistant cover: Neck and shoulder heating pads include a material cover that serves as a buffer between the pad and the user’s skin to prevent scalding.

In addition to safety features, a person may wish to consider:

  • Heat type: Electronic neck and shoulder heating pads provide dry heat. However, some microwaveable products produce moist heat with water-heated pads.
  • Cord length: Those using electronic neck and shoulder heating pads should consider the length of the item’s cord. Those using pads with short cables may need to sit near a power outlet or purchase an extension cord.
  • Size: A person may wish to review the product’s measurements and decide which size may work best with their body’s frame. For example, smaller individuals may prefer a more compact product.

The next section explores some of the neck and shoulder heating pads available to buy on Amazon.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
  • Features: Products have a variety of features to suit individual needs.
  • Suitability: Products come in a range of styles and sizes.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL Heating Pad

For neck, back, and shoulder cover

This electric heating pad has four therapeutic heat settings and can cover a person’s neck, shoulders, and back. It also has an adjustable fit that is reportedly suitable for most sizes.

This device also features:

  • an automatic shut-off
  • hands-free design
  • a 5-year limited warranty

The material is machine washable and available in two colors.

This product costs around $59.99 on Amazon.

Huggaroo Microwave Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders

For a weighted heating pad

This weighted heating pad contains clay beads and flaxseed.

A person can heat it in a microwave, so it is cordless. It also features a soft fabric cover.

The company claims the product provides 10–15 minutes of deep heat and stays warm for another 10–15 minutes. A person can also chill the pad in the freezer for use as a cold pack.

The price is around $35.99 on Amazon.

Sunbeam Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief

For moist or dry heat

This electric heating pad comes with a sponge, so a person can moisten it if they wish. The fabric is soft, padded, and machine washable.

Other features include:

  • four heat settings
  • an adjustable neck collar with a magnetic clasp
  • a digital LED controller

This heating pad costs around $29.49 on Amazon.

ZXU Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder

For a weighted edge

This electric heating pad has three heat settings and is adjustable. The company describes the size as extra-large.

The product is also reportedly suitable for moist or dry heat.

Other features include:

  • a magnetic strap
  • automatic shut-off
  • ultra-soft fabric

The company also claims the product is suitable for use on other parts of the body.

The price is around $45.99 on Amazon.

Comfytemp Weighted Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders

For a micro-glass bead filling

This electric heat pad features a micro-glass bead filling for a weighted feeling. The material is also soft and machine-washable.

Other features include:

  • nine heat settings
  • 11 automatic shut-off timers
  • a multifunctional controller

This product costs around $42.99 on Amazon.

hellomoto Electric Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders

For a long power cord

This electric heating pad has a 2-hour automatic shut-off setting and a magnetic clasp to hold it in place. It also comes with an 11-foot power cord.

The company claims this product will fit most people’s shoulders.

The fabric cover is soft and machine-washable.

The price is around $28.99 on Amazon.

REVIX Heated Neck Wrap

For lower budgets

This microwaveable heat wrap is smaller than other products in this article, so it may not provide full shoulder coverage.

The product features a filling consisting of organic flaxseed, millet, and clay beads.

It also has carrying handles for travel.

The company claims the heat wrap is also suitable for other areas of the body.

This product costs around $17.99 on Amazon.

People may consider other products for relieving neck and shoulder pain, including:

  • herbal pain relief patches
  • cervical neck pillows
  • topical analgesic creams
  • neck or shoulder massagers
  • cooling gels and sprays

A person may also wish to try a massage with a professional massage therapist.

Learn more about neck and shoulder massagers.

People have used heat therapy for centuries to relieve muscle aches and pains.

Neck and shoulder heating pads may provide relief from pain, and they are available with a range of features.

However, a person should speak with their doctor if they are experiencing ongoing pain in their neck or shoulders. They may also wish to ask them if heat therapy or cold therapy would be more suitable as a treatment.