Endometriosis UK
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Hot water bottles

I know lots of us ladies use hot water bottles and heat pads to ease our pain, so I just wanted to share something with you....

Over the course of the last week I've struggled with pain, particularly at night, so I've been using my hot water bottle a lot. Yesterday morning I was reading online about how heat may not be good for endo and can even make it worse, despite the temporary relief from pain. So yesterday I didn't use my hot water bottle and last night I had a good pain free sleep.

It may just be a complete coincidence but I didn't do anything else differently yesterday. Just thought I'd mention it :) Hope you all have a good weekend xxx

4 Replies

I love my water bottle it's the only thing that works for me as I hate painkillers. I never take them. I only get pain when I'm on my period so that's when I use it.


I hope that continues for you :) I've read about how heat can make Endo adhesions worse but I honestly couldn't cope with my Endo pain without heat. My most severe pain is during my period, if I don't have hot water bottles front and back (on top of ibuprofen and 30mg codeine) I end up in excruciating pain, throwing up and blacking out. If you're managing without that's wonderful. Another thing I do is massage vitamin e oil or olive oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil front and back. My theory is that my hot water bottle doesn't exactly help the Endo pain but it relaxes all the muscles and therefore slows down the contractions. Basically being relaxed as possible helps the pain (damn hard relaxing when you feel like you're in labour!) so the very gentle massage and relaxing scent of lavender often helps me. I think it's a distraction thing too. I generally notice I experience a better quality of sleep after doing it. Xx

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Actually there's a whole thing on why hot and cold have different uses for pain relief. When nerves are inflamed, like when you have whiplash from a car accident, heat will make pain worse.

However when you have a disease like endometriosis where muscles and tissue are inflamed applying cold will numb the pain however once you take off the cold it'll be more painful than before you put the ice on because it numbed the inflamtion but didn't actually do anything. Cold also tenses muscles and tissue, think about how when you go out not dressed warm enough and you shiver. Once everything starts untensing it will push on the nerves and spasm.

While heating pads relax the muscles and tissues which can help relieve pain.

If you find heat makes your pain worse it's a sign that you probably also have a case of chronic pain that's led to oversensitivity, it's an odd concept and lots of us do have a high pain threshold (persay you sprain and anlkle and nothing happens) however the area where you've felt pain is so used to being in pain that the nerves distort themselves and make a direct link to the brain. Normally the brain has pain gates that are closed however with chronic pain they stay open and make it easier for the body to read pain.

You can also take into account that sometimes the heating pads we put on ourselves are really hot, I'm guilty for the highest temperature whenever I use one. And that can lead to damaging nerves that are right under the skin and the skin itself which can lead to pain.

I would really read up on chronic pain yourself since how the nervous system gets all wonky is quite interesting.

To calm down these nerves you want your nervous system to shut off and be taken over by another system of your brain. To do this use 3 fingers and stroke your legs up 3 times on all sides. Then horizontally stroke your abdomen 3 times, then your arms. Use a pressure that doesn't hurt and doesn't feel ticklish or weird since that turns on your nervous system.

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Is this to do with the fact that heat 'melts' blood so it can spread to new areas?


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