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How do I Choose the Best Hot Gel Packs?

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  • Written By: Stacy Ruble
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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Hot gel packs are used to provide heat therapy, also called thermotherapy. Most often, this therapy is used to reduce joint or muscle pain or stiffness, alleviate headache and backaches, or provide relief from chronic pain symptoms. Hot gel pack users will want to consider the site of the pain when choosing among the packs available. Gel packs come in different sizes and can be used in conjunction with various wraps. There are also gel packs that can be used for either hot or cold therapy.

To provide thermotherapy, the gel pack is usually microwaved or heated in warm water. Since gel packs can get extremely hot and even burst, users should opt for packs with sturdy plastic exteriors. Most gel packs need to be reheated every 15 to 30 minutes, but the length of time can vary up to two hours, so people will want to consider how long they will be using the pack in one session.

There are single-use gel packs and reusable gel packs available. Single use gel packs do not require a microwave or other heat source for them to be activated. They can be less expensive than reusable gel packs, but only if the gel packs will not be used over a period of time. Reusable gel packs are more cost-effective if heat therapy will be required more than once or twice. Reusable packs are also more environmentally friendly as they can be used many times.

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Basic hot gel packs are small plastic packets of gel that need to be held to the treated area. There are also gel packs that can be put into fabric wraps. Having the gel pack wrapped in something lessens the possibility of skin burns or discomfort. Fabric wraps or strap systems can make the hot gel packs easier to use as they are hands-free once they are strapped to the affected area.

Some companies have personalized hot gel packs that come in different colors and sizes, which can be useful if there are multiple heat therapy patients in one home or location. There are also gel packs that are customized to be used on particular body parts. For instance, there are u-shaped gel packs that are covered in fabric for persons needing thermotherapy on their necks. There are also hot gel packs that can be molded around knees, ankles, shoulders, or other areas prone to pain and stiffness.

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literally45
Post 3

I don't like hot and cold gel packs. I never know if I will need the gel pack hot or cold and I can't have it both ways. If it's outside the fridge, it has to be frozen to use as a cold pack and if it's frozen, it has to be thawed in order to use it as a hot pack. So I need to buy two and keep one in the freezer for emergencies.

I also don't like microwaving a gel pack. It gets too hot but cools down too quickly. I've even had a gel pack crack and burst in the microwave.

fBoyle
Post 2

@SarahGen-- What are you intending to use the hot gel pack for?

There are two types of hot gel packs on the market. One type is for medical use and the other is to use inside food carriers. They are of different sizes and qualities, so make sure that you get a product that's intended for the right purpose.

Aside from this, the description of the product should say that it stays hot for hours. Also read reviews to make sure that the claims are true.

SarahGen
Post 1

I want a gel heat pack that lasts for a long time. The ones that have to be reheated every fifteen minutes are not for me. Are there gel heat packs that last for several hours? Does anyone have a recommendation?

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