Heat and cold therapy have been used to relieve pain for hundreds of years, which is evidence of its effectiveness. Notably, you can use either heat or cold treatment, depending on your condition. In fact, alternating between reusable heat and cold packs is advisable for people with joint pain, muscle spasms, and compressed nerves. That said, reusable heat and cold packs come in various models, and specific factors should guide your choice. Read on to find out.
Mode of Heating/Cooling Mechanism
Gels and liquid reusable heating packs are the most popular due to their ease of use. As their name suggests, the pads contain a gel or liquid, and all you have to do is place the pad inside a microwave or hot water and wait for a few minutes. Once the gel or liquid is hot, you let it cool at room temperature before applying it to a painful or swollen site. If you want to use gel or liquid pads for cold therapy, throw it in a freezer for a few minutes. Other types of pads include electric pads, infrared pads, and chemical pads. Electric pads have internal coils that produce different levels of heat. On the other hand, infrared pads convert electric energy into infrared light, producing heat.
If you suffer from chronic pain that recurs every few hours, you need a reusable heat pack you can use anywhere and at any time. It is critical to managing chronic pain, and the heat pack you settle for determines your comfort levels while away from home. Gel and liquid heat packs are excellent for pain management at home only since portability is not their strongest point. The reason is that they retain heat and last approximately an hour before you need to charge them again in boiling water. However, electric and infrared heat packs are the best for people who need pain management on the go. Thanks to their rechargeable batteries, you can carry an electric or infrared heat pack wherever you go. Notably, you can use them for several hours before recharging the battery pack.
Size of Application Site
Reusable heat packs come in various sizes. Your choice depends on the specific part of the body you want to apply local heat/cold. For example, small heat packs are suitable for small body areas, such as painful shoulders or knees. However, larger areas such as the lower back, thighs, and upper back require large heat packs to be effective. The good news is that some vendors sell small and large heat pads in packs at affordable rates. Therefore, understand where you want to use a reusable heat pack before buying one.