Cramps are a common discomfort experienced by many people. These spasms can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strain, menstruation, and digestion problems.
Thankfully, a simple, effective, and natural method of relieving cramps exists: the use of hot water bottles!
In this article, we will discuss how a hot water bottle can help alleviate cramps and provide pain relief.
How hot water bottles can help alleviate cramps
Whether you’re dealing with menstrual cramps, pain due to digestive problems, or muscle soreness after physical activity, applying warmth to the affected area can help soothe the pain.
The main way hot water bottles contribute to soothing cramps is by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This increased blood flow brings the oxygen and nutrients your muscles need to recover, which in turn contributes to reducing the cramps and pain caused by the inflammation.
Below are the main cramp-causing problems hot water bottles can help you address in a natural and non-invasive way.
Cramps caused by constipation
If you’re experiencing cramps due to digestive problems, hot water bottles can also help, especially in cases of constipation.
Hot water bottle warmth can help with the digestion process by stimulating the muscle needed for the digestive process. In simple terms, hot water bottles can help your intestines push food through your colon, which is one of the things you want when you're constipated.
Read our full article on how hot water bottles can help with constipation.
Cramps caused by menstruation
Menstruation cramps can be extremely painful. Hot water bottles can help relax muscles in the uterus and contribute to reducing stomach cramps caused by contractions.
In addition, they can have no side effects and can be jointly used with pain-relieving medication. Read our full article on how hot water bottles can help with menstruation cramps.
3 reasons to use hot water bottles for cramps
1. Affordable and easy to find
Hot water bottles are very affordable and can be found in most pharmacies, supermarkets, and online marketplaces.
Indeed, you can easily purchase a good-quality hot water bottle for as low as 8 dollars. Bonus point: a hot water bottle can last several years. Great investment, eh?
2. 100% natural
Another positive feature of hot water bottles: they constitute a natural and non-invasive means of reducing cramps.
In addition, they have no side effects, compared to over-the-counter medication you may typically lean towards when in need of treating cramps and inflammations.
While there is no scientific evidence backing this, we’ve heard it too much not to share it with you. For many individuals, hot water bottles are cosy, comforting and relaxing.
Being in contact with a hot water bottle wrapped in a nice fluffy cover can contribute to making you feel cared for on a bad day. Worth trying, believe us.
5 steps to use a hot water bottle for cramps
Here are simple steps to follow to use a hot water bottle for cramps:
Check your hot water bottles doesn’t have any crack or leaks before use: a leaking hot water bottle is not safe as it can lead to burns
Safely fill it with hot water (not boiling water: read our article on the ideal hot water bottle temperature)
Wrap it in a cloth or use a hot water bottle cover: avoid direct contact between your skin and the hot water bottle at all times to prevent skin burns or hot water bottle rash
Use it on the cramping area in 15-minute cycles (15-minute applying it, 15-minute break): this will also prevent burns and rash
Most importantly: sit back and relax!
Cherry pillows as an alternative
Not a fan of hot water bottles? That's completely fine. Another heat therapy alternative to the hot water bottle is the cherry pillow. Perhaps worth exploring for you!
Cherry pillows, also known as cherry pit heating pads, are packs of cherry pits which can be heated in microwaves within a couple of minutes. Like hot water bottles, they have many benefits and can help reduce muscle pain and cramps caused by menstruation and digestive problems.
Read our article about hot cherry pillows to find out if they're more suitable for you!
We hope this article helped you get a better idea of how hot water bottles can help you soothe your cramps.
To summarize, hot water bottles constitute a cheap, natural, and effective way to help reduce cramping caused by muscle soreness, digestive problems, or menstruation. We advise you to try them out!
That being said, we strongly advise you to consult your general practitioner if the cramping doesn’t go away.
Keep warm, safe, and cosy at all times!