Hot Compress | The Search for Natural Pain Relief Begins

I’m not sure of the first time I hurt so badly that I looked up “hot compress” online to see how to make one. I think it was sometime after I was finishing our basement and had done hours of overhead hammering trying to hide duct work with drywall. Two days later I woke up to a popping sound in my neck and couldn’t move. A trip to the chiropractor (who wouldn’t touch me), and then to my doctor ended with me taking muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs for inflamed discs in my neck. The muscle spasms were incredibly painful…radiating into my shoulders and upper back.

After initial icing on the injury, I was doing everything I could to break the muscle spasms so I could move again. I remember looking at my two year-old in her crib and thinking there was no way I could pick her up to get her out of there, but there really was no option!

The muscle relaxants did help – I would feel the ropes in my back shiver and relax when they kicked in as I fell asleep. Staying awake when I took them wasn’t easy. I tried once, and my family had a little intervention with me the next day to inform me that I would no longer be taking those, after they witnessed the effect the pills had on me. No one likes it when mom slurs a few words and drools just a little by the TV while she's fighting dozing off….and let's just say a mom who is either asleep or drooling is not best practice parenting.

The doctor suggested a hot compress next, along with a new prescription for a drool-free, less potent muscle relaxant. Most of the advice back then for a hot compress involved soaking a washcloth in hot water, wringing it out, and applying it. Well, that lasts all of 30 seconds before it cools off…it took longer just to get the water out of the faucet hot enough, and then once it was on my shoulder I’d feel it cool off and become a cool compress. Zero effect.

Soaking in a hot shower? Yes. Good. Could not take that with me on the carpool route. Could not do this multiple times a day without causing new family concerns about why mom’s in the shower again.

My friend, Trish, always makes great Christmas presents, and that was the year she made everyone flannel hot/cold packs with a dry rice filling. A revelation. A minute in the microwave, and it would stay warm for 15 or 20 minutes. The squishy bag would conform to the shape of my shoulder, back, or squish into my lower back when I leaned into it on the couch. The relief was real and there were no dripping washcloths, mildewing showers, or threatened calls to family services involved.

That was how it all started. From there, the heat pack became my friend, and helped with spasms from sciatica and with headaches from sinus pain, too. I became something of a hot wrap evangelist. And that led me here. For me, and for you, too. Products I love, that really work naturally...that don’t make me drool…that bring comfort and relaxation in every degree. Oh, man. I’m gonna love this job.

Want to experience it for yourself? Browse our fine heating pads and ice packs.

Want to try to make your own? Read “DIY -  Make your own microwave heating pad and ice pack


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