Treat Aches And Pains With This DIY Heating Pad

How many times have you sat down for a movie and gotten up a few hours later to find that your lower back was aching? Or maybe you just got a new set of pillows and your slumber at night has left you feeling less rested than when you went to bed; you woke up with a really sore neck instead. 

Aches and pains in different parts of the body are quite common. In fact, soreness in muscles and joints becomes even more frequent as you get older, per Cleveland Clinic. There are several reasons why you might be experiencing pain in your shoulders, neck, or back. The most common and less serious causes could be stress, improper sleep and posture, lack of hydration (via Healthline), and muscle soreness after exercise. Stomach cramps because of menstruation are another common culprit. 

At times when your aches and pains are getting in the way of your normal life, you may have considered ordering a heating pad online so you have something handy at home for the next time your movement is restricted or painful. But there's no need to make that purchase just yet. You can create your own DIY heating pad at home. Here's how. 

DIY heating pad with a pair of socks and rice

Your mother may have told you that heating a moist towel in the microwave would do the trick (via Byrdie). And yes, she's right, but why not try this nifty DIY sock method instead? You'll have a dry and ready-to-go option right when you need it for next time. 

All you'll require are a pair of socks and some uncooked rice. You can use oatmeal too, per Medical News Today. If you're going with the rice option, steer clear of the instant variety, advises Hoosier Homemade. Start by grabbing an old pair of socks or buying a new pair from the store. Fill the sock with the rice or oatmeal up to three-quarters of the way and sew it closed at the end (via Medical News Today). If you're having trouble filling the sock, try draping it over a tall glass before you start (via Lali Marquez). Another useful tip is to fill one half of the sock with the rice and put a few stitches in at the middle before filling the rest. This way, you keep the rice grains from stretching the sock material out. Heat the DIY heating pad in the microwave for a few minutes before use.

Want your sock heating pad to smell great even after multiple uses? Sprinkle in a few drops of your most soothing essential oil with the rice grains before sewing the sock shut, per Hoosier Homemade. 

You've got more options for DIY heating pads

Socks and grains aren't the only creative methods for DIY heating pads to treat those frequent aches and pains. Another easy option is to microwave a pack of frozen vegetables and wrap them in a towel before applying it to your sore back or neck, per Byrdie. Just make sure the steam has evaporated before you start the heat compress. The centuries-old hack of using soapstones for heat therapy is also one you can turn to. Used by Native Americans for cooking bowls, soapstone is known to release the heat it absorbs at a steady pace (via Geology).

Just be careful how you heat the soapstone as it holds on to a lot of heat, according to Byrdie. Microwaving is not the way to go. Instead, place the stone in hot water and heat it for at least half an hour. Carefully remove the stone once heated and let it rest till it reaches about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you're good to use the soapstone to soothe those aches and pains. 

Treating aching muscles and sore joints with heat compress is a great way to promote blood flow required for healing, per Tone and Tighten. But electric heating pads aren't the only answer. In fact, they come with their own set of safety risks, according to Family Safety and Health. These DIY methods are not only cost effective and easy, but they're sure to get your creative wheels turning as well.