Before I bought my heated-blanket to help with my Raynaud’s, I decided to try and save some money and buy a heating pad for my cold hands.
I just got a basic model with four heat settings, and it heated up just fine, but I noticed that the heat was too localized without being ambient enough if that makes any sense. I would put my hands under the heating pad, and the tops or bottoms of my hands would roast, but the rest of my body was still freezing, and having a cold body still triggers the Raynaud’s Phenomenon no matter how warm my hands are.
I tried using it at night under my blankets to create ambient heat, but it would send off super-heated massage quality localized heat, causing my back to sweat, and then shut off in two hours, and I would wake up wet and cold.
The texture of the pad was also problematic for any ulcers I might have had on my fingers. There is nothing quite like snagging an open wound on hot burlap to make a girl scream. My husband doesn’t scare easily, but there were a couple of heating pad related screeches that made him nearly jump out of his skin.
If there is a plus side of having a heating pad, I do still sometimes use it for its intended purposes—relaxing stressed muscles. My husband packed all kinds of warmth-related items for me when I went in to the hospital to deliver my second child. I used it to relax my aching back muscles and provide some small warmth in the freezing hospital bed. It was nice to have something that did not fall on the dirty hospital floor but would still keep me warm without having to send a nurse to warm it up.
But even then, I prefer my rice-filled heating wrap to really relax. The heating pad just does not have the same level of flexibility and ambient heat as the wrap. Plus the wrap was a gift from my mom, so there’s some sentimental warmth happening there too. It may be a placebo effect, but just thinking about my mom makes me feel all warm and cozy.
All in all, I cannot say I would recommend a heating pad as having been much help for my Raynaud’s in any capacity that I have not found something better to replace it with. If you’re here looking for options, there are quite a few other things I’ve tried that will probably give you more relief than a heating pad.