“ Brand: Therma Care / Dosage Form: Wraps „
I don't usually suffer with back pain, but on an odd occasion a few weeks ago I had a terrible back ache that had lasted for a couple of days. I remembered about these Thermacare Heat Wraps, as I had received a free sample pack and stowed them away in my medicine cabinet just in case they came in handy. I have since seen that you can buy them in most pharmacy stores and a 2-pack costs £6.30 from Boots. This seems quite expensive to me, especially considering that the wraps can only be used once before having to dispose of them.
Products description: "Uses: For powerful and targeted long-lasting relief of muscular and joint pain associated with ...
* muscle tension * over-exertion, sprains and strains * arthritis
Suitable for sufferers of chronic and occasional pain."
I have the Thermacare Heat Wraps designed for use around the lower back and hip area, but they also produce similar products designed for neck / wrist / shoulder, knee / elbow, and menstrual pains. The heat wrap is an interesting product that allows you to relieve pain without the use of traditional painkillers or tablet medication. I'm always keen to try alternative solutions as I have real difficulties with swallowing pills, and this back wrap looked incredibly simple to use as well as offering direct pain relief to the target area.
The Thermacare Heat Wrap is a wide banded belt with a Velcro section at the front to secure it, and self-heating discs at the back section to give a direct treatment to the cause of the pain. The wrap is made of a lightweight webbing type material and should fit anyone from sizes S - XL. I had been dealing with a sore back for two days on the go and it was getting to the point where my pain was becoming very distracting and I wanted to ease it so that I could settle down for a restful night's sleep.
Instructions for use:
Tear open pouch just before use. Peel away paper to reveal adhesive side and place over pain area with darker discs towards skin.
This was very simple to use, and although it felt a bit weighty I was able to wear it in comfort and without any pressure from the band or the discs. The Velcro kept the band secure at the front although as the night wore on I did feel it slipping down from time to time as I moved around. I put this on in the early evening and was just pottering around at home before slobbing out on the sofa for the night, so it wasn't too much of a problem, but if I had been using this through the daytime when I am more active and out and about, then the slipping would have annoyed me quite a bit.
What I noticed first was that the heat cells were very quick to start working - within 30 minutes I could really start to feel a positive effect. My muscles had been tight and achey, with occasional sharp twinges and this was becoming too uncomfortable for me to deal with before I resorted to using the heat wrap. I was a little surprised at just how hot the heat wrap became, and it felt incredibly hot against my skin. I wore it for around 5 hours in total before removing it and making my way to bed for the night. When I awoke the next morning, the heat wrap had managed to still retain a lot of heat and I could have probably got a few more hours use out of it. Luckily for me, I didn't need to use it again as the heat treatment has worked its magic and eased the pain completely by the time that I had taken the wrap off.
Thermacare Heat Wraps claim to be as effective as six ibuprofen tablets ( 2 x 200mg tablets, 3 x daily), as well as providing the following benefits:
+ Deep penetrating therapeutic heat
+ Relaxes tight muscles
+ Patented heat cells penetrate deep.
I can't compare the effect to taking ibuprofen, but I can certainly say that this gave me direct pain relief in an incredibly easy way. This was a one-off problem and the heat wrap helped me to deal with it quickly, without any hassle. There is no mess or tricky application to fuss around with when wearing the wrap. It is easy to use, especially if you are resting to help ease your muscles, as this will also help the wrap to stay securely in place without moving around when you do. The feeling of the heat against my skin was quite intense and made me feel like it was really working. Like I said before, it took less than 30 minutes for me to start feeling the effects, and then my back felt completely better within another few hours. I kept the wrap on for a while longer after I stopped experiencing the pain, just to ensure that the heat treatment had worked deeply on my muscles and to hopefully avoid any returning pains after removing the wrap. I was able to lay down in a comfortable position and get a good, restful night's sleep after using the heat wrap and this was a huge relief. I didn't have any further problems with my back at all since then and the following day I was able to move around freely without feeling any after-effects.
There are a few warnings given on the packet, which are best to take into account before using the wrap:
- Do not use for more than 8 hours in a 24 hour period.
- Do not place extra pressure over the product, e.g. wearing under tight waistband or belt / clothing or leaning against a hard surface.
- If the wrap feels too hot, stop use or wear over a layer of clothing, not directly against your skin.
I still have one of these wraps left, and if I need to use it I will definitely consider wearing it over a thin layer of clothing rather than directly against my skin, as it the heat does feel very strong when you have been wearing it for a while.
Overall, I would say that the Thermacare Heat Wrap was a simple solution that effectively eased my back pain. A great alternative to taking painkillers, especially for those of us that find it impossible to take tablets. The only bad points that I can see about the heat wraps is the price - they are quite expensive for only two treatments, and also the waste - the wraps can only be used once and then they have to be thrown away. Not great value for money, but I would consider buying them again if I was in need. Definitely worth it for getting rid of the back ache and giving me a lovely long pain-free sleep.
I suffer with bilateral hip dysplasia and often get associated pain in my lower back. Unfortunately painkillers don't tend to do much for me so I was very open to trying these after being given a few by my gran, who had spotted them in Boots. I like the idea of them, if nothing else I hoped they would soothe and feel nice on my back.
They come in a sealed pouch which tells us they offer "powerful pain relief" for up to 8 hours, they are "one size fits all (s-xl)" and you can only use each wrap once. The back of the pouch has pictorial directions for use, warnings and product info. The important warnings to note are that this product can cause burns, so care must be taken. You should try it first and see how you go before using it while you sleep, and if you are 55 years old and upward then you should not use it while sleeping at all, and only over a layer of clothing.
The wrap itself is white, kind of like bandage material, with the middle section containing 16 oval discs; these are the bits that heat up on contact with the air. They contain iron which can cause harm if ingested or in direct contact with your skin or eyes, so you should not use if there is any damage to these areas of the wrap. Either side of the discs is a stretchy panel - the unstretched length is 44 inches, and it stretches up to approx 55 inches; the smallest it can really be is approx 26 inches, so it really is quite good in terms of 'one size fits all'. One end has a strip of velcro like material and this simply sticks to anywhere on the rest of the wrap, keeping it in place and allowing you to have it whatever size you need.
They are very comfortable to wear, but do they work? Well, they are certainly soothing. The heat (and they do get really hot, but not uncomfortably so for me) feels really nice on sore bits and it is very relaxing. Though you can of course wear these to go about your normal business, they are not bulky at all and are invisible under all but the tightest clothing (although you mustn't wear a trouser belt over the wrap as this results in extra pressure on the product). While using these wraps, the pain is soothed. But in my case it's still very much there. Although my pain is quite bad and due to structural abnormalities so this may be a bit of a hard task for them!
In any case, they done what I hoped they would - soothed and offered some comfort while wearing in the house. I am yet to try them sleeping, which I plan to as many mornings it's a bit of a struggle getting upright! You can buy different shaped wraps for different body parts which is good but also a bit gimmicky I think, as I'm sure they could manufacture a plain shaped one that wold fit many body parts - I actually tried to maneuver one of these on my neck yesterday to soothe a tension headache (hence I had one handy to take the measurements!) but it didn't work at all, so I just wrapped it round my back to keep me warm!
Unfortunately, I found that after a short time you don't really feel the heat - it may still be helping your pain but for me the warmth they provide is half the allure - if I'm not feeling that it's not so enjoyable for me. This is something I don't think can really be helped though, as your body gets used to anything and you stop registering it so much after a while. I find shifting the position slightly helps me regain the feeling of heat but not so much.
In terms of staying power, 8 hours is actually a little conservative. The one I used yesterday I opened at 11pm and it was still quite warm when I started this review at 9am, although obviously not as hot. Even so, you are recommended not to use for more than 8 hours in any 24 hour period. Packaging also states they can take up to 30 minutes to heat up, but by 11.10pm last night this was pretty toasty.
So would I recommend them? I probably would as they do feel really nice on. For me, the experience was comforting rather than pain relieving though your own pain may be better treated by them. They are not cheap, I think my gran paid £7 for a box of two from Boots (and she bought me 2 boxes, bless her), but I am unsure. Looking on here, I see similar prices. I don't think this offers fantastic value since you only get two uses for the price. The product is quality though, lasts a bit longer than you need and is well made. I have to admit I would be unlikely to buy these myself normally, as we just don't spend the best part of £10 on things like this. I don't even spend £10 on my entire hair and skin care regime any more!
A few days ago I managed to pull the muscles in my lower back, I have had problems with my lower back in the past resulting in it being a little bit on the stiff side in the mornings, so I was not too pleased with myself the other morning when I managed to hurt it through carrying out the simplest of tasks Sneezing!!!! Resulting in me spending most of the day hardly being able to move and continuously asking my fiancé (who was off work ill) to keep picking things up for me as I could not bend more than a millimetre!!! I spent the last few days on the Anadin Extras, that was until I visited my parents who by coincident had had a sample come of 2 Thermacare Heat Wraps. I have seen these advertised on the TV and they come across as an excellent pain relief alternative to tablets so I decided to try one and see if it could relief the pain in my lower back.
The wraps came in quite a large shiny gold box, the front of the box has the words Thermacare written in large chunky yellow letters across the whole width of the box with a orange and red wave pattern behind, below this is a bright red rectangle with "Powerful Pain Relief" written across the whole thing in white letters which really stand out against the red background. The majority of the box is taken up with the picture of a person wearing one of the wraps, partly written across the picture is written Therapeutic Heatwraps. In very small writing at the bottom of the box are the words 2 single use heat wraps, one size fits all. All of the information is repeated on the back of the box. The 2 sides of the box are totally gold in colour with a dark brown writing on them, they contain information such as a size guide, what they can be used for and various warnings which I will mention later. Inside the box are the individually wrapped wraps, each wrap comes in a foil packet which simply tears open. The foil packets are yellow in colour and contain exactly the same information as the box including warnings, how they can be used and the only difference is they tell you how to apply the heat wrap.
The box and packaging states that one size wrap fits all, however there is a size guide on the side of the box which shows the smallest and largest size the wrap will fit for both men and woman
Woman - Fits sizes 8 to 20
Men - Fits sizes 29 to 47
Now it does not actually say but I am assuming these sizes are similar to that of men and woman's dress sizes, but either way providing you are between these 2 sizes the wrap should fit comfortably.
Appearance of the Wrap
The wrap has a very medical/ surgical appearance to it, the whole thing seems to be made of a very thick bandage type style material. There is a wide area in the middle of the wrap which has 16 oval shaped discs, these are actually filled with an iron substance, this is the area of the wrap you place on the painful area. There is then a long strap either side one of which has a piece of Velcro attached to it to fasten the wrap around your body. For some reason the whole thing reminded me of a slightly odd nappy contraption, but still I was prepared to give it a go. The material was very flexible and soft so there was no fear of it rubbing against my skin or restricting my movement so I was sure I would be able to carry on with my housework, after all the advert states that you can. The material also seems to have tiny holes in it making it breathable against your skin, this prevents it making you too hot.
How To Apply The Wrap
I was pretty sure that applying the wrap was going to be easy but I had a quick read of the instructions anyway. They suggest that you apply the area with the discs in against the painful area, you will notice that on one side of the wrap the discs appear darker, place this darker side against your skin, then simply bring the 2 straps around either side of your body and fasten by pressing the Velcro against the fabric of the wrap on the opposite strap, to keep the wrap in place fasten the belt at a tightness that is comfortable for you. That is basically it you do have to wait for about 30 minutes before you feel the heat of the wrap and each one can be worn for up to 8 hours. After 8 hours or when you are ready to dispose of the wrap simply throw it away in your regular household waste.
How The Wraps Work
The wraps have 16 discs which contain a mixture of iron, charcoal, salt and water. Once you open each wrap the discs reacts with the oxygen to produce heat which can last up to 8 hours. The discs are positioned so that they can both cover a large area across your lower back and also are far enough apart to prevent your movement from being restricted. The information on the box describes the wraps as easy to use, drug free, thin comfortable, discreet and odourless, and I have to say that personally I totally agree with this. The wrap could easily be worn under your clothing without being seen, when I tried mine I wore it under a reasonably tight fitting jumper and have to admit that you could not see the wrap at all, it fitted very close to my skin comfortably and the soft fabric meant that there was no visible line of the wrap.
The Thermacare wraps can be used for a variety of muscular and joint pain relief associated with the following
These wraps are suitable for people who suffer with chronic back pain or occasional back pain
DO NOT USE IF
As with all medical products there are certain instants where you should not use them. With the Thermacare wraps it is suggested that they should not be used if you have or sufer with or used any of the following
Pain Rubs and ointments or other forms of heat relief
Unhealthy, broken or damaged skin
Areas of bruising
Areas of swelling
Areas of the body where you cannot feel heat
People who are unable to follow the usage instructions
People who cannot remove the wrap when needed
Children, infants and some elderly people.
There are also some other basic warnings which you need to be aware of when using the Thermacare Wraps the these include the warning that heat products can cause burns and the risk of this can increase with age, the packaging suggests that if you are over the age of 55 then it is advised that you wear the wrap over clothing. It also states that you should not wear the wrap when sleeping, it is not clear whether this means if you are over the age of 55 or nobody should sleep wearing the wraps, personally I would not wear one of the wraps when sleeping whatever the age just as a precaution. If at any point when wearing the wrap it begins to feel too hot you should stop using straight away, also even though you can wear the wrap under clothing you should not add pressure to it by wearing a belt over the product as this can burn the skin. The wraps do contain iron which is enclosed inside the wrap itself however should the iron come into contact with the skin then you need to wash the area immediately and seek medical advise, the fabric around the iron is reasonably thick so it is unlikely this would happen but it is something you need to be aware of when wearing the wraps. The final warning is that these wraps can be worn for up to 8 hours each, however a wrap should not be worn for more that 8 hours in a 24 hour period , so although you can wear more than one wrap (only wear one at a time) the combined time cannot exceed the recommended 8 hours.
As I have mentioned I got my Thermacare Heat wraps as a free sample (well my parents did) but I have done a bit of investigating and you can purchase a box of 2 wraps at Tesco for £6.00, however they are currently on offer for £4.00. Personally I feel that this is a little expensive for only 2 wraps but it seems that that is the average price for this type of product.
Personally I was a little bit disappointed in the Thermacare Heat Wraps, despite the nappy style appearance it was pretty comfortable, I did have a bit of trouble getting it in position but once it started to heat up this was easier, once I had the straps at the right tightness it stayed in place perfectly despite moving around the house. The wrap did start to heat up pretty quickly and after 30 minutes was a lot hotter than I expected but not too hot that I could not have it against my skin. I have to say that the warmth from the wrap did feel quite soothing against my back, however after several hours of wearing the wrap there was no change in the amount of pain in my back, whilst the warmth was lovely it really did not do a lot for the pain in my back. I stuck with the wrap hoping for it to improve over time but unfortunately it did not change at all. So overall I was a bit disappointed with the pain relief side of things but did enjoy the soothing warmth, however at £6.00 for 2 wraps I think I would rather stick to a hot water bottle or bean bag. For me the wraps were not a success and I cannot recommend them as a pain relief alternative.
I am one of those people blessed with a dodgy back. I can lift heavy weights, do gardening, housework etc. with no problems at all, but just occasionally I do something simple and off it goes! The other day I was stepping over a small tree pot in the garden and felt the familiar sensation - almost as though something snaps at the base of my spine. Once I did it by reaching into a drawer to lift out a calendar, once (on holiday) I just stood up after breakfast - as I say it is the simplest of things that sets it off. The worst of it is that being such simple things I never know when it is going to happen so I can't do anything to avoid it.
Sometimes the pain is bad but I can manage to live my life relatively normally but sometimes I am in agony and can barely move. I have even been known to have to crawl around the floor on all fours because I can't get up to a standing position. No funny comments please - trust me it is not amusing! It can last for anything from a couple of days to a week or more.
To help manage the pain I have used heat pads and hot water bottles in the past but of course that does mean that I have to stay in one place the whole time and that isn't necessarily the best thing to do, especially when the pain is getting to the manageable stage.
So one day I was shopping in Boots and in the pain care section I noticed a display of a new product called ThermaCare Pain Relieving Heatwraps. The box was bright red and the picture on the front showed the product wrapped around someone's back.
I clearly needed to investigate this.
The writing on the box stated that the wraps were effective for muscular and joint pains and would give targeted pain relief.
They are self heating and will quickly warm up when removed from the pouch. They provide up to eight hours of pain relief. They are designed to fit specific parts of the body and can be worn under ordinary clothing and so are discreet.
This sounded just what I needed.
I purchased a pack of two wraps at a cost of £5.99. The one I have purchased since have been on offer at three packs for the price of two or packs of three wraps for the price of two, which makes them more affordable.
They are available in S/M (Small/Medium) or L/XL (Large/Extra Large). Obviously they need to be the right size to wrap around your body.
The next time that I had problems with my back I decided that it was time to try a Heatwrap. Each of the Heatwraps in the box is sealed in its own pouch with the same picture on the front as the one on the front of the box.
I tore open a pouch and removed the Heatwrap. The first thing I noticed was that it was heavier than I had expected it to be. It is in the style of a wide belt made of soft fabric with a wider part at the back.
The panel at the back has 22 discs inside it arranged in 6 columns, one of three, four or four and then another one of three. These discs begin to warm up as soon as the Heatwrap is removed from its pouch. Don't ask me how or why they just do! LOL!
I wrapped the belt around my body with the darker side of the discs nearer to my skin as advised in the instructions. The belt fastens at the front by means of Velcro. I could feel the warmth almost straight away although the discs take up to thirty minutes to reach the 'therapeutic temperature'.
I found the heat of these wraps just right. It was warm enough to help to ease the pain but not so warm that it felt uncomfortable. The wrap was easy to wear and felt comfortable all day. It didn't ruckle or move about although to be fair I wasn't exactly moving much as I try to keep my back as still and straight as possible when I do move about while I am suffering.
You are advised to wear it for a minimum of three hours for the full effect and not to wear the wrap for more than eight hours in any twenty four hour period and to be fair eight hours of constant heat is enough.
I did find that the Heatwrap helped with the pain management although the pain did not disappear altogether. It also felt quite comforting. I have since bought more of these - when they were on offer - and always use them when I have a bad back.
There are certain warnings about the product that you need to be aware of before you use it. Being a heated product it could cause burning or skin irritation and apparently this is more likely in the over 50's. Well I am 53 and don't have any problems with the wraps! If this happens you are advised to wear the wrap over a layer of clothing to help combat any irritation.
This product should not be used with any creams, ointments, plasters or any other heating products. It should not be used by people who cannot feel the heat or remove the product themselves if they need to - for example infants.
So would I recommend the Heatwraps? Yes I would. Clearly they have to be treated with care and used sensibly but I found them helpful and, as I said earlier, comforting too.
Wraps provide effective relief of muscular and joint pains due to overexertion, strains, sprains and arthritis. They provide 8 hours of long lasting warm relief.