Moist Heat Therapy

Using moist heat therapy is an effective way to relieve chronic pain. It’s also effective in delaying the onset of muscle soreness after post-ice workouts or sports activity or to treat impact injuries that cause bruising. Stiff necks, backaches, arthritic joints and sprains all benefit from the therapy. The moist heat speeds relief and recovery by stimulating the flow of blood to the pain site. Studies show that moist heat penetrates more deeply and more rapidly into the body tissue than dry-heat therapy, providing quicker and greater relief from discomfort. A wide range of professionals use moist heating pads for their clients and patients, including physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers and clinical and practice physicians and nurses. The moist-heat regimen includes different shapes and sizes of moistenable pads, including covers that protect bare skin from the heat and standalone heating units for soaking the pads in hot water. CeilBlue™ offers a full lineup of these supplies from top brands, including Relief Pak® HotSpot® moist heat packs and Chattanooga® Hydrocollator® moist heat HotPaks™.

Moist heating pads for musculoskeletal pain and discomfort

As with any hot and cold compress, moist-heat wraps have a specific design to make their application most effective. The pads consist of tubed ribs, each containing a chemical filler that when moistened retains heat for up to 30 minutes. The ribbed design enables them to wrap around any joint in the body, or to lie flat against wide areas like the back.

Moist-heat wraps are available in four generic sizes and shapes, including 10-in. circles, 5 in. x 12 in. half-size, 10 in. x 12 in. standard size and 15 in. x 24 in. oversize. Specific wraps are available in a neck contour, or as large and small spine packs, knee/shoulder packs and cervical hot packs. Each has corner loops so you can grab them safely away from the heat source and place them in protective covers before application to the affected area. In addition, you can store wraps in plastic bags and place them in the freezer after treatment.

Protective moist heat therapy covers

All physical therapy supplies must consider the safety of clients and patients foremost in any product application. Manufacturers of the heat pads recommend heating the wraps to 165 degrees F and then wrapping them in a precautionary protective cover before applying them to skin. While the suppliers suggest that therapists, trainers and clinicians may use heavy towels for this purpose, they also offer their own form-fitting terrycloth microfiber or foam-filled covers.

The terrycloth microfiber covers allow the moist heat to penetrate evenly and deeply without reddening the skin. Wraps with foam padding absorb some weight of the wet pads from particularly sore areas while still dispersing the penetrating moist heat. Both styles come with foldable flaps or built-in pockets, and each closes around the pads with hook-and-loop tabs.

Standalone heating units for Relief Pak and Hydrocollator moist heat packs

The most convenient way to heat the wraps is to immerse them in standalone heating units, complementing medical exam tables in the heat-wrap therapy setting. Most units have seamless stainless steel construction, some with plastic insulation. In essence, each unit is a water bath with thermostatically controlled temperature settings. The units have grates that let you immerse several pads at once in the bath and pull them out together. Many units have on-off toggle switches that also glow green when the unit’s powered-on, as well as heat-lamp units to show when the water has reached its pre-set temperature. Many units also have heat sensors to shut down units if they overheat. Portable units with rubber casters are available, as are stationary tabletop units with rubber feet. Most units also have fixed hoses with open-shut valves to empty the water bath as necessary over a floor drain or basin.

Check out CeilBlue’s standalone heating units and the variety of generic and specific wraps that may be available with them for penetrating, deep moist heat therapy.