What is the best heating pad for neck, chest, and shoulders?
I'm looking for a cordless heating solution for everyday back/shoulder/neck pain, as well as costochondritis (chest pain).
I'd like something that is easily heated and won't smell horrible (and will last over multiple uses). If it can also act as a cooling pad, that's an added bonus.
I've looked into several options, such as the SnapHeat packs, which look cool, see here on Amazon, but to reset you have to put them in boiling water (sound inconvenient but maybe it's not that bad?). I've also looked at the Bed Buddy body wrap, here on Amazon, but reviewers have had problems with the seams breaking/melting and a horrible smell.
Has anyone used either of these and can give me some input?
Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Personally, I put dried beans (preferably lentils) in a pillowcase and heat in the microwave for a minute or two. Cheap, easy, doesn't smell horrible, and retains heat for quite some time. Reusable, too. If you want a pretty one, there are some nice ones on etsy, including scented ones. http://www.etsy.com/search/handmade?search_submit=&ref=auto&q=heat+pack&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US
For cold, frozen peas are recommended, though those are not reusable. ;)
I've bought many electric heating pads. The very best digital professional-quality pads I've found are made by a company called TheraTherm. Available in many sizes and shapes, including a pad for cervical (neck) injuries.
Good luck, and may you be free from all pain and suffering!
I have made my own heating pads for years, for family and friends. I use flax seed to fill a flannel bag, adding other ingredients depending on personal preference. Some favorites include dried chamomile flowers, dried mint or lavender. A simple flannel bag sewn from a rectangle of cloth can be easily made by even a poor hand at sewing (such as myself) with a decent sewing machine, and custom shapes such as a yoke for neck/shoulder use are not that difficult either. Just remember to leave enough room in the bag for the flax to move around and conform to the shape of your body. These pads merely require a couple of minutes in the microwave to heat up, and can be reused almost indefinitely with reasonable care. The first one I made for my wife ten years ago is still going strong; one seam started to leak a couple of years ago, but I just made a new cover for it.
One word of caution: microwaves vary in power, and if you heat the bag up too much, you run the risk of burning some of the filler. This will cause an unpleasant odor, although only an extreme case will affect the use of the pad. These can also be put into the freezer overnight for use as a cold pack, but this is obviously not as convenient as microwaving.
I have experimented with other materials for the bag, such as denim and canvas, but flannel seems to be plenty durable and feels the best against the skin.
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