How to Make Your Own Gel Ice Pack or Moist Heat Pack
For patients suffering from pain in the back or neck heath and cold therapy is often a go-to solution for easing that pain. Properly applied it can be a saving grace for those who live with the pain daily, but some patients balk at the high cost of some over-the-counter items that are meant for this purpose. Thankfully hot and cold packs aren’t difficult to make, and are just as effective at applying heat or cold to the affected areas as their more expensive counterparts. Below we have some great cost-saving ways to help combat your spinal pain with hot and cold.
Homemade Gel Ice Packs
These are the ones that most often throw patients off when they’re told they can be made at home. Gel seems like a strange and complicated material that can only be made in a lab, but its really easy to make them right at home. All you need is rubbing alcohol, water, and a couple durable freezer bags with solid seals to make your own. 2 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol placed in a freezer bag (double bagged for security) and frozen will take on a gel-like consistency that is perfect for applying cold. These are best applied wrapped in a towel to avoid damaging the skin.
Homemade Moist Heat Packs
If what you’re looking for is a source of moist heat to apply to your spinal aches and pains, then try this little design. Moist heat is a popular alternative to dry heat since it doesn’t dry out the skin and allows heat to sink into the places you need it more effectively. To make a method of doing this at home all you’re going to need is some container made of cloth (old unmatched socks are perfect) and 4-6 cups of some sort of filling. Rice, oatmeal, flax seed, buckwheat, and other grains are perfect for this as they allow moldability and hold heat very well. Put this grain into the container and tie it or sew it shut to keep it from escaping. You can then heat it up in the microwave to warm it up. If you want to try some aromatherapy along with the moist heat, just dose the material with an essential oil of your choice before microwaving it. Job done.
Spinal and neck pain is no laughing matter, and it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Using at-home treatments like cold and moist heat can help you avoid relying on pharmaceutical pain-killers by reducing how often you need to take them. This allows the pain-killers to be more effective and reduces wear and tear on your liver, keeping you healthier longer and getting better relief when you need it. Dr. Diana Wilson at Neurosurgeon and Spine of Fort Worth, TX works closely with patients like you to improve their quality of life and reduce their dependency on pain killers in treating their back and neck pain. Call today for a consultation.