Neck and shoulder wraps that you heat in the microwave or chill in the freezer can be an easy and inexpensive way to help ease a variety of ailments without any side effects. The best heating pads for neck and shoulder pain are the ones that have been infused with aromatherapy blends that can help sooth sore muscles and relieve stress. In order to get the best type of moist heat therapy, these wraps are made with 100% cotton and are filled with heat retaining natural grains like flax seed, rice, corn or wheat. They will stay warm for extended periods of time, and have a nice scent when heated (although if you prefer no scent those are available as well).
If you are suffering from stress, pain, insomnia, tense muscles, cramping, arthritis or headaches, you will enjoy the many benefits that you can get from a microwavable heat and shoulder pack.
Neck and Shoulder Wraps- Top Picks
|Happy Wraps Herbal Neck Wrap||#1||Check Pricing|
|Herbal Concepts Comfort Neck and Shoulder Wrap||#2||Check Pricing|
|Nature Creation- Neck & Shoulder Wrap||#3||Check Pricing|
|Nature’s Approach Aromatherapy Shoulder Wrap Herbal Pack||#4||Check Pricing|
|TheraSpa Herbal Hot/Cold Neck & Shoulder Wrap||#5||Check Pricing|
|Core Soft Comfort CorPak Hot/Cold Tri-Sectional||#6||Check Pricing|
Why Use a Neck and Shoulder Wrap?
Tension and stress can settle in your shoulder and neck muscles leading to pain, tension headaches or in some cases injury. You can also get sore neck and shoulders muscles from exercise or from your job. A heated neck wrap is a quick, inexpensive therapy to help sooth sore muscles and painful tension that doesn’t take very long, has no side effects and can be very soothing and relaxing. When you apply heat to your muscles your blood vessels open up and help to increase elasticity of the tissue, allowing your muscles to relax. Microwave neck wraps also provide a ‘moist heat’, which is different than what you get when using an electric heating pad. Moist heat is often recommended by doctors for pain caused by injuries, because it is able to get deeper into muscles to help with pain relief than other types of heating pads.
What to Look for:
Filing– Most heating packs are filled with, rice, flax seed, wheat or corn. The filing obviously needs to be safe to put in the microwave, and is often also filled with a mix of herbs to give off a pleasant scent when heated. All of the fillings hold heat for around the same amount of time, although flax seeds may have a slight edge over the other types of fillings. Rice is a very popular option when making a heat pack at home, although it may break down sooner than other filings. Corn is another popular filling, but it may give off a ‘popcorn’ type scent when heated, so if you are sensitive to smells it may be best avoided.
Design– There are a number of different types of designs to choose from. The standard design is a long rectangular shaped wrap that you can rest on your shoulders and move around to problem areas. Other types of designs include square shaped pads, or more neck specific products that rest on your neck and have a high collar that covers the entire neck and shoulder without having to be moved. It is best to look for designs that are going to fit comfortably on your neck and shoulders and stay there.
Scent– Generally the most popular neck wraps include some kind of aromatherapy scent to help add a soothing element to the product. If you have migraines and would prefer to have an unscented product some companies offer unscented options, although you may need to contact the company directly. Many of the products that do include herbs for scent have quite a few ingredients, so if you have any allergies ensure that you pay particular attention to the filling ingredients.
Fabric cover – The fabric covers for almost all of the neck and shoulder heating pads are 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Cotton works well when it is heated in the microwave, but like anything it can burn if heated too long. Some products come with an outer covering that can be removed and washed. Outer covers come in a variety of different types of plush fabrics like minky or organic cotton fleece with many different types of fabric patterns.
Heat Retention– To ensure you get a good neck wrap you will want to find a product that hold the heat for around 30-60 minutes. Depending on the size and the design you will get this amount of heat retention with most quality products.
If you are concerned about how to keep your neck wrap clean, you may want to look for a product that has a removable cover that can be taken off and washed. If you want to prolong the life of the fabric, you will want to wash the cover on a gentle cycle or by hand. Most inner packs are not meant to be washed.
Products that don’t have a removable cover can usually be spot cleaned and then air dried.
How to Use
Using a heat or cold pack could not be simpler. To use for heat therapy, you place the pack into the microwave for the amount of time that is specified for the product you have purchased. The heating time may vary depending on the power of your microwave. Do not heat for longer than directed, as it may burn the filling and cause an unpleasant odor. If you are worried about overheating, heat the product in 30 second intervals to avoid the risk of burning the contents. Once heated, you can place the pack on the area that is painful or tense. When the pack has reached room temperature you can reheat.
If you do not have a microwave, some packs allow you to heat them in the oven by wrapping them in aluminum foil and then heating on a low heat for a set amount of time (do not leave unattended). See directions that come with any product that you purchase.
For cold therapy, place the pack in a plastic bag in your freezer for approximately 1-4 hours until it has reached a level of cold that will be comforting for your ailment. Cold therapy is an effective treatment for reducing inflammation as well as for strains, sprains and swelling.
Microwave heat packs are generally considered pretty safe to use. There are no known side effects to using heat packs and they are not thought to be a dangerous product if used properly. There are however a couple of safety precautions to take when using these products.
- You should always use as directed.
- If the pack is damaged you should discontinue use, and ensure that the filling won’t be ingested by a small child or pet.
- Never use heat packs on anyone with impaired sensation or infants.
- Don’t over heat the wraps, because it may burn the contents or cause burning when picked up or put on the skin.
- Make sure the pack does not get wet.
- Check ingredients of the filling if you have allergies.
- Check temperature of the wrap before you place it on your body.
Heat and cold wraps can be incredibly helpful for a number of different conditions. Here are just a few ailments that would benefit from the use of a heated neck and shoulder wrap.
- Muscular disorder of the upper back and neck
- Fibromyalgia pains
- Sore muscles
- Disc and nerve damage
- Chronic pain syndrome
- Sore neck
Using a microwave heated wrap is a simple, safe and very effective way to help deal with pain, tension, discomfort or injury in the neck and shoulder muscles and joints. These types of products for heat therapy can help ease joint pain, tension, sore muscles and headaches. Or they can be effectively used as cold therapy for decreasing muscle spasms, pain, and inflammation. They are also fantastic to use the aromatherapy and soothing warmth of the wraps to help with stress reduction or to just warm you up on a cold winter’s day. These wonderful little wraps will help get rid of stress and tension, leaving you more comfortable and hopefully pain free.