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Walking through a market on a cold winter's day, there was one stall generating a bit of buzz. A man selling these hot gel cushions, different sizes and colours, and providing instant relief to frozen fingers. I purchased this heat in a click pad at a high price of £6. As I had not at the time seen them sold anywhere else at a cheaper price, and was fascinated by this little device, I decided it was probably worth it.
The pad was available in different sizes, to accommodate the different ways in which one might use them. There was a long pad which could fold in such a way as to wrap around one's back or stomach to alleviate aches and pains. There were also smaller square and rectangular pads, the size of a palm and the size of a hand. These seemed perhaps more suitable to put in jacket or coat pockets to warm hands, when out and about. This was the size that I bought.
The pad was simple enough to use, with a metal disc inside the pad that you flex to activate the solution. You can tell that the solution has been activated as it begins to turn white. The pad needs to be massaged so that it becomes soft and cushiony. I remember the first time that I used it the heat did not seem as hot as it had at the market stall. However the times used after this, the pack once clicked was very hot.
There are a couple of negatives to this product. The first is that the heat does not last long, 15 minutes is the longest it has managed to stay hot, after which it starts to cool down, and by about an hour is barely warm. It is perhaps only best used for either warming cold hands and feet or alleviating mild aches and pains. I had thought it might be worth using when I have period pains, but as the heat does not last long, it does not help as much as a hot water bottle does.
The other downside is re-using the pack once it has cooled down. In order to return the solution back to the way it was before it was clicked, you have to put the pad in boiling water and wait until the solution looks clear. This is a trick business, because it takes time and you cannot always tell if the solution is completely clear. If the solution is not completely clear when you remove the product from the boiling water, then the pad begins to harden and you have to put it back in the boiling water. After reading reviews on the product, I found that some users suggested heating it in the microwave. This proved to be a much quicker way to clear the pad so that it could be reused, taking around two to three minutes. However it must be noted that when in the microwave, it must be monitored carefully, and only put in for 20 to 30 seconds at a time. I had an unfortunate accident with the first pad I bought, leaving it in the microwave for two minutes, unattended. I came back to find it burst and solution all over the microwave, it was a mission cleaning up the mess!
Once re-heated it must be left to cool, and will then be ready to use again by clicking the metal disc to re-activate the solution. I find it most useful in the mornings or evenings when waiting for a train on the platform. However I can only use it once a day when I'm out as I only have one gel cushion.
Overall, I think this is a great idea, but the product itself requires some work. It needs to last for longer, and there needs to be a way in which we can use it several times a day without having to re-heat, wait for it to cool down, and then re-activate.
I suffer from lower back ache, it's something I've always had and sometimes it is more bearable than at other times. My Dad and Grandfather also suffered with back pain, though my Grandfather did have scoliosis something neither my Dad nor I have. My back pain is caused by Sciatica and my Dads is caused by spondylolisthesis a condition which causes the vertebra in your back to slip over one another, Sciatica however is a really common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve. The large nerve extending all the way from the lower back down the back of each leg and can cause one or more of the following problems:
---> pain in the buttock or leg that is worse when sitting
---> burning or tingling down the leg
---> weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
---> a constant pain on one side of the buttock
---> a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
I get regular bouts of pain and it often extends from my lower back and down the back of one leg, thankfully never both. There are many treatments out there which can help you manage the pain, but because my sciatica is quite irregular, I find I can manage the pain myself without having to have injections or anti-inflammatory medicine to help, instead I always resort to a hot bath (any excuse to go to Lush) and some form of heat relief and that in the past had been through the use of a hot water bottle but more recently heat pads, something I can carry around with me and not have people looking at me like I am a little bit odd.
Heat Pads come in all different shapes, sizes and are designed for a huge array of common complaints everything from PMT to sore and aching muscles and they can be expensive! A few months ago I was looking online to get my Dad some hand warmers that would fit inside his gloves when he is fishing, my Dad is in his spare time a keen Angler and is sponsored by companies to fish whilst wearing their logos but he always complains of cold hands, no matter how thick his gloves are. Anyway I was successful in my search and we now have one happy fisherman, but also whilst I was searching I came as a product called "Heat in a Click Pleasure Reusable Heating Pad" on Amazon and the bit which caught my attention was "Heat In A Click is an instant, portable and reusable heating pad" the word reusable which mean money saving and it was on offer for £13.95, so I bought one. I have in the past tried using a microwaveable option but have found them all to be quite disappointing because they don't keep the heat very long and I ended up microwaving constantly just to get some heat, with this heat pad, one click and you have 2-3 hours worth of soothing heat.
Arriving in a cardboard box which was a bright orange and yellow mix and very standout, on it was a woman laying on her stomach with said heat pad across her shoulders looking very relaxed and after reading the instructions I found that it should also be possible to use on my lower back. The heat pad itself which is a lovely purple colour (though colours do vary) and is best described as looking like an armband which hasn't been fastened together, it comprises of five heat sections all of which are conjoined inside a sealed plastic bag also inside your box is a cloth pouch which allows you to apply the heat pad directly to the skin. Inside the bag is a small circular metal disc which you are told to 'flex' to activate. The solution inside the sealed plastic bag is sodium acetate, a form of salt and there is a chemical reaction which turns the liquid to a solid and thus creating heat. Now I am not good at Chemistry but there are hundreds of websites which explain the chemical reaction far better than I ever could. All I needed to know is that when I flexed the metallic disc the solution inside turned hot and could be used as pain relief. Now these heat pads do heat up almost as instantly as you flex the disc and the Heat In A Click pad will reach 54°C (130°F) and whilst they do stay hot they do gradually begin to cool down after about 2-3 hours and go from being a solid back to a liquid. However these pads are re-usable and can be used again and again.
When it comes to reusing your heat pad there is a bit of effort involved in making sure you can reuse it properly and again all of this is explained on an enclosed leaflet. All you have to do is boil water in a pot and then place the pad on a cloth inside the pot and let the water continue to boil, at which point all the crystals inside your heat pad will have dissolved and become totally clear, like it was when you first removed it from its box. When the pad has become clear it needs to be carefully removed from the pan and placed on another cloth to allow it to cool down, once it has cooled down and the liquid inside is completely clear with no crystals left inside, you can re-use it again. You can store these heat pads in your fridge to keep them cool or if you want to use them as cold pain relief you can freeze them and use them that way instead of heat.
As I said this heat pad comes with a pouch which is made of blue cloth and it has a strap on it, so should you need to wear it on the move you can strap it to your back and move around really freely, if you are simply sitting down at work or at home then you can just rest it against your back and if you don't use the pouch it will not burn or scold your skin.
I find this heat pad a great relief, I am someone who hates having to use Ibuprofen or any other form of medication if I can avoid it and for me this pad works perfectly and is easy to use. Since purchasing this pad I have also noticed there are many more available for shoulder and neck pain, leg and knee pain and so on, each one designed specifically for their own purpose. It is something I recommend and it does save you money as I had been pain around £5 for 4 heat pads and with this I have used it quite a lot and have saved myself a few pounds in the process.
So for me these Heat pads are a complete relief and are perfect for what I need them for and even when the time comes to replace them, I have no doubt that I would purchase the same product again.