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Does a Heating Pad Raise Blood Pressure?

Measuring blood pressure

According to early findings presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions, using a heating pad overnight may benefit persons with supine hypertension, which causes blood pressure to rise when lying down, even when sleeping.

Most people with autonomic failure also have supine hypertension, which can exacerbate orthostatic hypotension during the day, resulting in pressure diuresis and volume loss at night. End-organ damage is also connected to supine hypertension. Since sympathetic activation prevents blood pressure (BP) from falling in healthy participants exposed to heat, we hypothesized that passive heat treatment might treat supine hypertension in people with autonomic dysfunction. Local heat treatment, a novel strategy for treating this illness, successfully reduced nocturnal blood pressure in individuals with autonomic failure and supine hypertension.

About 50% of persons with autonomic failure, a chronic degenerative condition that affects the area of the nervous system that controls involuntary activities like blood pressure and heart rate, have supine hypertension. Blood pressure spikes during the night are linked to kidney and heart damage. Additionally, it can increase urine production, exacerbating situations where a person’s blood pressure dips significantly when they first stand up, as when they first get out of bed in the morning. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation was used to measure how well heat therapy affected vascular function. Our findings imply that the therapeutic potential of heat therapy for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease risk factors should be further explored in terms of method and dose.

Studies found that heat therapy applied during sleep decreased systolic blood pressure, with a maximum reduction of 30 mm Hg after four hours of heat. Heat therapy did not decrease nighttime urine production or improve the sudden drop in morning blood pressure despite lowering overnight systolic blood pressure.  Compared to the control group, the experimental group experienced less anxiety and less objective and subjective pain thanks to the heating treatment. Compared to the control group, heating treatment also reduced the systolic and diastolic blood pressure and the heart rate in the experimental group. Women expressed far higher levels of satisfaction than males.

Cystoscopy is now preferentially recommended over invasive testing for the evaluation of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria and, thus, the identification of bladder cancer or other urological diseases. However, even though cystoscopy is the most common procedure in daily urology practice, it is invasive and can be associated with pain and discomfort. In particular, conscious patients are directly exposed to various stimuli during cystoscopy, which increases anxiety. The pain and anxiety associated with cystoscopy can activate the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in different physiological responses, such as increased cardiac output, elevated blood sugar level, peripheral vascular contraction, and elevated blood pressure. Heating treatment performed with an electric heating pad is straightforward, practical, and economical, making it a helpful non-pharmacological nursing intervention. Patients are undergoing cystoscopy experience less discomfort and anxiety because heating treatment lowers their BP and PR, two physiological markers of pain and stress. We feel that heating treatment is an effective independent nursing intervention, given the high satisfaction score found in the current study.

Worse quality of life and decreased mobility are linked to intermittent claudication (IC). A novel cardiovascular treatment called heat therapy may help individuals with IC move more comfortably. No heat therapy has been shown to statistically enhance the quality of life or brachial blood pressure, according to systematic studies (Ovid Medline / PubMed, Embase, Scopus / Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Health Technology Assessment Databases for patients with IC). Significant increases in limb blood flow and core temperature, as well as brief drops in blood pressure after heating, were the hallmarks of acute treatments. Randomized controlled studies made use of various heat therapy. The acute physiological reactions of these groups to different heat treatment approaches have likewise received relatively little research. To understand the efficacy of heat treatment, future studies should develop acceptable protocols and conduct additional randomized studies.