I Discovered a Heating Pad Helps My RLS
As my title suggests, I have discovered that a heating pad is helpful.
I have previously written about how I sought out and bought a shower seat so that I could sit while having a hot shower to help my legs when my restless legs syndrome (RLS) is being a bother. It has definitely been a worthwhile purchase and is great to have. There are even times when my husband uses it when he is very exhausted or has a leg injury. In order to conserve more water, I decided to find my old heating pad and give it a whirl.
It gave me about the same amount of relief as a hot shower
I hadn’t used it in a while. I normally use it on my back. It’s an extra-large in size, so it goes down the length of my torso perfectly. Thanks to its length, I was able to drape it across both legs without having to have my legs in an uncomfortable position — which, as we RLS sufferers know, is never a good idea to be in for too long.
Once the heating pad got up to temperature, I started to feel a little bit of relief. About the same amount as the hot shower, thankfully.
My heating pad usage regimen for RLS
I start with the heating pad on the lower part of my legs, from the knees down. This is where the RLS attacks start. After about 20 minutes, I move the heating pad so that it’s covering the upper half of my legs. After another 20 minutes, I move the heating pad back to my lower legs.
I also found that if I put the heating pad on when I could start to feel the precursor RLS twinges, I could stave off the attack for an hour or 2.
Another major bonus about the heating pad vs. a hot shower is that I can handle the heating pad longer. My heart and my fibromyalgia can only handle a hot shower for about 10 minutes. As the heating pad is just on my legs, I can handle it for 20-30 minutes.
Searching for a replacement is difficult
Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, my heating pad died. Since then, I have been hunting for the perfect heating pad replacement.
There is a particular brand that I like, so it’s just been a matter of trying to find the right size and a store that sells it. I’ve been having to do all my searching online because of COVID, and sometimes the websites can be a bit difficult.
A whole-body heated blanket?
I have thought about getting 2 small heating pads, 1 for each leg. But then again, that’s using more power just for the sake of ease. There is also a store that has a heating pad blanket so that you can wrap it around your whole body — I have thought about this as an option, too. I don’t know if it is something that you can have folded in half so that it’s just across your legs, or if the wires don’t allow for that, so I would have to drape it across the bottom.
Do you find a heating pad can help reduce your RLS symptoms?
How often do your RLS symptoms affect your mood?