Heating pad and Hot Pack
A moist heating pad is used dry on the user's skin. These pads register temperatures from 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (76 to 82 degrees Celsius) and are intended for deep tissue treatment and can be dangerous if left on unattended. Moist heating pads are used mainly by physical therapists but can be found for home use. A moist cloth can be added with a setup cover to add more moisture to the treatment.
The humble heat pack is also referred to as a warmer, heat pad or heating pack. Millions of heat packs a year are currently used worldwide for various purposes, mostly as a portable instant heat source for simply keeping warm! Technology as produced more reliable and convenient ways of producing comforting heat. Who remembers the days of the velvet box style hand warmer containing a slow burning charcoal stick!
There are currently three types of heat pack available, the convenient instant self heating heat packs that work by way of a chemical reaction between oxygen in the air and the heat packs contents, and the re-use able gel heat pack warmer that can be heated in a microwave, and finally re-use able heat packs that produce heat at the click of a "button."
Lets take a look at each of the three heat pack variations in more detail:
The air activated disposable heat pack
Heat pack, heat pad, warmer, heating pad or heating pack! Soft lightweight pouches containing a mixture of iron powder, charcoal, salt, sawdust, and vermiculite. When the heat pack is removed from the outer and exposed to oxygen, an oxidation reaction takes place generating heat from the pouch. Variations of this most popular self heating packs include self adhesive heat packs especially developed for pain relief, toe warmers and foot warmers for heat to the feet, mini warmers, hand and body warmers.
Another variation is the shipping warmer for the transportation of temperature sensitive items. Heat packs are manufactured under many brand names worldwide. These heat packs are by far the most popular being a portable instant heat source as well as being disposable and biodegradable. Although heat packs are most often associated with the cold winter months, many use them year round as comforting relief for Raynauds Syndrome, Lupus, Sjogren's, Arthritis, Myalgia, RSD and fibromyalgia as well as general aches and pains. Heat packs are also widely used for out door pursuits: camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, sailing, cycling, caving, climbing, archery, abseiling, canoeing, snowboarding, mountaineering and more.
Versatility is also a key feature, easily adapted to the users specific needs, for example some customers use heat packs for keeping camera batteries warm to improve performance when filming wildlife programs in ice frozen landscapes, providing heat to pet beds, warming beauty therapy products, fast food delivery, even down to keeping pampered pets warm out walking!
Used extensively as emergency heat sources in survival craft, lifeboats, personal survival packs and first aid boxes. Many people keep a few on hand in the event of central heating failure or a breakdown in a car or boat as a personal heating pad.
The Instant Heat Hot Pack Compress
An instant hot pack activated by squeezing an internal compartment within the pack. A chemical reaction takes place within the pack generating heat. Typically only last around half an hour maximum, making them the most expensive portable heat source.
The Re Usable Microwave Gel Heat Pack / Ice Pack
The gel heat pack is a handy item to have around the home for those with a microwave oven. The gel pack is put in the microwave on the lowest setting for 30 seconds, the pack contents retaining heat. Gel heat packs offer a cheap heat source around the home, though provide a limited use able heat duration of around 20 minutes.
The gel heat pack is quite often used in sports injury wraps or used independently to apply heat therapy. Heat therapy is normally prescribed for no longer than 20 minutes, so the gel pack is perfect for providing reasonable temperatures for short time durations.
If the gel pack is overheated in the microwave, so the gel reaches it's boiling point, / ultimate expansion point, the pack will inevitably burst. Quite often the gel heat pack will also double as an ice pack after placing in the freezer. Always use microwave gel packs as per the instructions, powerful high wattage microwaves may damage gel heat packs.
• Take a long, warm shower when you awaken to ease morning stiffness.
• Try using a warm paraffin wax treatment system, available at many drugstores or beauty-supply stores.
• Soak in a warm bath or whirlpool.
• Buy moist heat pads from the drugstore, or make one at home by putting a wet washcloth in a freezer bag and heating it in the microwave for one minute. Wrap the hot pack in a towel and place it over the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
• To soothe stiff and painful joints in your hands, apply mineral oil to them, put on rubber dish washing gloves, and place your hands in hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Incorporate other warming elements into your daily routines, such as warming your clothes in the dryer before dressing, or using an electric blanket and turning it up for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
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