Can A Heating Pad Help With Constipation?

Feeling a little backed up? We can sympathize. Being constipated does an excellent job of destroying both your good mood and plans for the day. After all, the stomach cramps are distracting, and the unsuccessful trips to the bathroom are a waste of time.

The Cleveland Clinic defines constipation as having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. Other symptoms include painful, dry stools that are hard to pass, and the feeling of not having emptied your bowels after going to the bathroom. If you're currently dealing with the day-ruining symptoms of constipation, just know that you are not alone. It is estimated that at least 2.5 million people a year visit their doctor in hopes of getting their bowels moving at a more regular rate. However common it may be, this doesn't mean you should accept your current backed-up state. Fortunately for you, and everyone else who is dealing with the same kind of stoppage, there are actions you can take.

According to Byrdie, one of the best ways you can beat the bloat to get your bowels moving is to drink plenty of lukewarm water.

A heating pad is soothing and can relax your muscles

"When we are dehydrated we tend to hold on to any water we can," Amy Scharpio, a registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition, told Byrdie. "So drinking more water helps us to flush out stored water. The more you drink the less bloated you'll be. It will also flush out excess sodium which holds on to water." 

Drinking warm water may help, but you can also use water in another way to help relieve the painful symptoms associated with constipation: enter the heating pad. It's one of the best at-home cures out there to relieve tense muscles and tame the dragon that is PMS. If you don't already have a heating pad, it may be time to get one if you have recurring bouts of constipation. Verywell Health claims that sleeping with a heating pad pressed against your belly can be very soothing psychologically, and it relaxes the muscles in your abdomen. Less mental strain and more relaxed muscles in your midsection can lead to properly functioning bowels when you wake up in the morning. 

There isn't a lot of research to back this remedy, but if you are backed up, it can't hurt to try. Just make sure you don't press the heating pad right against your skin — have a layer of clothing or bedding in between to avoid a burn.