How you can make your own hot pack | Total Performance Physical Therapy

How you can make your own hot pack

June 6, 2019

Any of you who have been to physical therapy or at least in my clinic, know what a big supporter I am of heat and ice.  One of the first things you can do at home when you get injured is to apply ice.  And it has already been presented on how to make your own ice pack.  Also it is important to note when to use heat and when to use ice.  It needs to be stated at this point that you should NEVER use a heating pad that plugs into the wall.  Why?  Because they do not cool down.  I know this sounds counter-intuitive.  Most people think you do not want it to cool down.  The problem is you run a high risk of burning yourself if you do not have a hot pack that cools down.  If you fall asleep on it or your skin gets exposed to it for too long, then you can wind up for third degree burns or worse.  Therefore the hot pack that you can make yourself is designed to be heated in the microwave so it will cool down so if you fall asleep on it you will not be at a risk of burning yourself.  As always make sure you consult a physical therapist if you have questions on using heat or ice or about the fastest way to cure your injury.

  1. Take a clean cotton sock.
  2. Take a bag of uncooked rice (white, long grain works the best)
  3. Fill the sock with the rice, allow room for some expansion and room to tie it off.
  4. Tie off with a piece of string or by knotting the sock itself.  Do not use anything with metal in it because you will be sticking it in the microwave.
  5. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
If it feels to hot when it comes out of the microwave, adjust the cooking times.  Do not put anything on your skin that feels to hot.  Just because it cools down eventually does not mean that it can’t burn you in the beginning.  Keep on sore area for 20 minutes or until it becomes cool.

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