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From time to time I suffer with back spasm in my lower back - it's as fi someone has it in a vice - I can't walk properly or stand up straight.
~Every cloud & all that...~
Well this week, one of these spasms struck - and I reached for one of these heat wraps, always my first port of call. Suddenly my pain was challenged by a wave of delight - I haven't reviewed these beauties yet!!
These wraps were recommended to me by a friend who struggles with back pain herself, and it's great that I can now pass that recommendation on this way. The wraps come in boxes of 2 for around £6, but look out for offers - Superdrug often have them on buy one get one free, and it's definitely worth stocking up, you never know when back pain will strike.
The wraps are individually wrapped (!) in packs which are about 18cm x 7cm and inside there is a folded wrap. Opening the packet exposes the wrap to the air, which activates the heat pads. The wraps are shaped to fit into the lower back, and there are two bands to wrap around your tummy which have a velcro-type fastening similar to nappy fastenings. This is entirely adjustable and the wraps would be able to fit most sizes, the box simply states S-XL and womens size 8-20. I'm size 18 and there is plenty of overlap at the fastening, but equally the bands are very thin so there is no problem in wrapping them further around if you are much slimmer. Once overlapped, the velco is very secure, they don't move once wrapped around you.
In the back panel of the wrap are lots of little heat cells, these are hard and flat (you can't feel them) and are each about an inch round. These heat up gradually at first but it isn't long before the warmth starts to come through, and within about half an hour there is a very real and quite strong heat applied along the length and width of the back panel, the whole of the small of the back.
The effect of the wrap is principally immediate relief and comforting. The warmth is really pleasant, and by warming the muscles, I always feel like the spasm is directly eased. The 'comforting' aspect is harder to articulate, but there is definitely an element of that, like your sore back is getting a big warm hug! I must add that I usually do take pain killers and/or anti inflammatories when I'm in the grip of one of these spasms, I don't rely on the wraps for pain relief.
If I put one of the wraps on in the morning it certainly makes it more bearable throughout the day, and it keeps its warmth up until bedtime. The stated period of time that the wrap should keep its heat is 8 hours, but it definitely stays warm for longer than that, even if not necessarily keeping 'hot', but in the evening this is really pleasant.
These wraps really do heat up to a serious level. You must not take any additional measures to fasten these to your body - direct prolongued contact should be avoided , and for the same reasons you shouldn't go to bed wearing one. There is a note on the box stating that people over 55 should wear the wrap over a layer of clothing, due to the increased burning risk.
~Summing it up~
I never use my last heat wrap without restocking 'for next time', such is the value I place on these wraps. I recommend them 100% for anyone who suffers the misery of lower back pain, and if you suffer from spasms I definitely believe in their power to relax and slowly ease the spasm. It's rarely a one-day miracle cure, but spasms are definitely subsided quicker than the old days of anti-inflammatories and pain killers alone, and more importantly it means I can go about day to day activities a little easier.They are easy to wear, they aren't bulky so not noticeable under your clothers, and most importantly they stay in place. These are a really great product that I wouldn't be without.
ThermaCare delivers heat that penetrates deep warming the muscle right where it hurts