ThermaCare Pain Relieving Heatwraps
I've just tried something new - ThermaCare pain relieving heatwraps. And they seem to work...
I picked one up recently as part of a promotion at Boots the chemist. It was a couple of weeks before I tried it out (my back has been worse just recently - we've got a new baby and my regular stretching and exercise routine has been shot to pieces... so inevitably my back has played up).
So one morning, after a particularly bad night, I tried it out.
Physically, the heatwrap consists of a 4-5" wide band that goes around your lower back. At the back are 22 individual nodules filled with some kind of techno-gel. The techno-gel starts heating up as soon as you open the packet (very clever - I have no idea how it does that).
I wore the ThermaCare pain relieving heatwrap under my shirt and went to work. All day I had a lovely warm feeling in my lower back - and it completely relieved the pain I had.
I opened the packet at about 6.45am and it stayed at a good warm temperature (not too hot!) until about 3.30pm (after then it slowly cooled).
So overall it was much more effective than ibuprofen, and as far as I can tell, nobody could tell that I was wearing it.
Put it on at 7am, by 13.30 still warm - much better than Ibuprofen.
The only slight problem with the heatwrap is that I needed to readjust it every now and again - but that's just a minor complaint really.
At the end of the first day, I couldn't help but think that the heatwraps were just helping me get through the day rather than actually solving my back pain problem. (And even if that's all they were doing, it's a much nicer way of doing it than anything else I've tried!)However, I'm writing this three days after using the heatwrap for the first time and I realise that my lower back pain has been much better since I tried them. And I can't think of anything that's changed in the last couple of days other than the heatwrap.
According to the ThermaCare website, heatwraps have a twofold effect: gate control and increased blood flow. Here's the detail:
- Gate control - heat travels on the same nerves as pain. The nerve can deliver only one at once and so inhibits the pain signals to the brain therefore reducing the pain. In turn the muscle relaxes.
- Increased blood flow – low level continual heat increases deep tissue temperature which dilates blood vessels and improves the blood flow. The increased blood flow within the muscle washes away pain causing chemicals bringing oxygen and nutrients to the damaged tissue and reduces the pain.
I certainly plan on using them again!
- Karen: I agree with your evaluation of the heatwraps. I've got quite a few things wrong with my back, and while it feels fine the majority of the time, I sometimes get a nasty back ache that is hard to get rid of and is painful enough to distract me from everything, including sleep. The heatwraps work better than anything else I have tried, including physical therapy. Within one hour of applying a heat wrap, my pain starts to diminish, and it keeps getting better as I continue wearing the wrap. Like you, I have found that the pain relief lasts long after the heat wrap is removed. I highly recommend them. I especially like how I don't have to take pain relief medications (with their side effects) thanks to the heat wraps.
Pain Relieving Heatwrap - Links
- Since trying the heatwraps, I've tried a few different manufacturers. Some of them use adhesive to "stick" in place, but I've yet to find one that really works and so far I haven't found anything better than the Thermacare heatwraps.
Written by Steve Hatherley.