Microwaveable heat bags for pain relief

Posted by Feroz Osman-Latib on

Using heat to relieve pain has been a practice of people around the world for centuries. In more recent times people regularly used a hot water bottle which is still in use today and you most likely will be having one in your home.

With the advent of microwaves however, an easier and safer solution to getting pain relief from the application of heat directly to the body is available. It has become favoured by physiotherapists, chiropractors and the general public, i.e the microwaveable heat bag. 

Some call them bean bags, however these heat bags don't actually contain 'beans', but rather wheat which can be heated repeatedly in a microwave after which they retain the heat and can be used for between 30 to 45 minutes on the area of pain. They are generally safer to use than hot water bottles as there is no risk of boiling water spilling during filling or afterward, caution must still be exercised as they may become excessively hot with the potential to cause burns if they are left too long in the microwave.

With all products quality differs and this is no different with these heat bags. The quality of the outer fabric must be strong enough to support repeated use while also soft enough to use directly on the skin. It must also buffer the heat from the wheat inside so as not to increase the risk of burning. The fabric must also withstand the heat and repeated use and not tear easily. 

The wheat used must also not be the type that goes bad easily. 

The design and shape of the bag differs widely from a standard one pocket bag to multi pocket bags with different shapes suitable to use on different areas of the body.

Acomed Microwaveable Heat Bags are made from strong corduroy outer material with a 3 pocket design and quality wheat that retains its freshness and heat retention abilities.

How to use a microwaveable heat bag

Always use a heat bag as advised by your health practitioner

1. First remove the heat bag from any plastic or other packaging

2. Place in the microwave for 3 minutes. (This time can be altered to increase or decrease the heat required)

3. Carefully remove the bag from the microwave

4. Check the heat of the bag against your inner forearm to assess if the heat is appropriate for use

5. Place over the affected area either over light clothing or directly over the skin and keep in place for 20 to 45 minutes

6. Allow the bag to cool for 120 minutes before reheating

Precautions to observe with microwaveable heat bags

Do not overheat the bag

Do not allow children to heat, handle or apply the bag without adult supervision

Do not apply a heat bag babies and infants

Do not apply the heat bag directly over open wounds, skin rashes and cuts

Do not use the heat bag as a bed warmer

Do not sleep with heat bag applied on your body

This list is not exhaustive, if you suffer from any chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, high blood pressure etc, please consult your doctor about the use of a heat bag in your case.

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