Facts about pain

Heat Wheat products are most commonly used as Hot packs, but did you know that our Heat Wheat can be used as cold packs as well?

Heat Wheat stored in the freezer can produce very effective Cryotherapy treatment to help your body recover from injury much like an ice pack, however you won’t find a Heat Wheat wet and dripping when you apply it to your skin.

Please find some more information below on how Heat Wheat can be used as an effective cold pack for muscular rehabilitation.

Testing

Cryotherapy using various cold packs Experiment

Excessive cryotherapy (chilling of the skin and tissues) known to be counter productive to vasodilatation[i], and thus can hinder the effective management of inflammation.

A study was undertaken to determine the specific temperature at the skin interface using various Heat Wheat Products, and other cryotherapy packs to compare their relative heat conduction capacity, and thus their relative suitability for Cryotherapy applications.

Definitions:

(a) Cryotherapy for management of Inflammation is defined as being skin interface temperature being reduced by 10 to 15*C[ii], where maximum reducing in inflammation being observed at skin interface temperatures of between 15 and 22*C. Excessive cryotherapy was noted as being counter productive to vasodilatation[iii]. (Note that for acute pain management, skin numbing temperatures of below 13.6*C are required).

(b) Staring Skin interface temperature (32*C) was measured by equilibrating the same thermometer against the skin of the test individual under a heat wheat pack which has been maintained at ambient room temperature (23*C).

(c) Each of the packs was placed in a domestic freezer (at -18*C) for 24 hours prior to the test. Heat Wheat Packs were sealed inside sealed plastic bags for the chilling process.

Equipment Used:

  • Zeal Scientific Thermometer -20 – 50*C (1*C increments)
  • Smiths English Clock Systems Analogue Timer
  • Heat Wheat Cord Pillow (1.6kg)
  • Large Gel Filled Cold Pack (640g) +/- Cotton Canvas Cover
  • Heat Wheat Eye Zone (340g)
  • 340g ice in Plastic Bag

Executive Conclusions:

Heat Wheat Products promoting better management of cryotherapy than commercially available gel filled packs or ice.

The Heat Wheat Cord pillow maintained optimal skin interface temperature for around 60 minutes. ü The Heat Wheat Eye Zone Pack maintained the optimum skin interface temperature for more than 30 minutes.

The large gel filled pack, when applied to the skin without a wrap resulted in redness and a cold burn after 10 minutes. This test was discontinued. When wrapped in a heavy cotton cover, the gel filled pack maintained skin numbing temperatures, unsuitable for inflammation management even after 30 minutes application.

Part One: Large Packs

Part Two- Small packs

The Heat Wheat Cord Pillow rapidly reduced the skin interface temperature of the upper thigh to the optimal range for management of inflammation ( 15 to 22*C), and maintained this optimal temperature range for nearly 60 minutes. The pillow had been chilled to -20*C for 24 hours prior to use. No discomfort resulted from its direct application to the skin, even straight from the freezer

The Neck Pillow had been chilled to -20*C for 24 hours prior to use. The pack was applied across the neck and shoulders. The skin interface temperature was reduced to numbing temperatures for around 10 minutes after which it increased naturally to the range optimal for reducing inflammation for around 25 minutes. The resulted in a rapid reducing in pain perception, followed by an extended period of targeted inflammation reduction.

The Heat Wheat Packs were highly flexible and easily applied to a large area of skin, fitting neatly around natural body contours, where as it particularly difficult to apply the ‘flexible’ gel packs around the neck and shoulders.

A commercially available gel filled pack (640g) rapidly reduced the skin interface temperature (on the thigh area) to below skin numbing temperatures, counterproductive to vasodilatation and the reduction of inflammation even when wrapped in a heavy cotton cover. While some what flexible, the gel filled pack did not contact all skin surfaces evenly.

The unwrapped gel pack resulted in a cold burn and pain following 10 minutes application. This test phase of the test was discontinued as a result.

The wrapped cold pack was removed after around 40 minutes, because the skin was uncomfortably numb.

Part Two: Small packs

Part Two- Small packs

The Heat Wheat Cord Eye Zone rapidly reduced the skin interface temperature to the optimal range for management of inflammation ( 15 to 22*C), and maintained this optimal temperature range for 30 minutes. Ice (sealed a bag and wrapped in a cloth) rapidly reduced the skin interface temperature to below skin numbing temperatures, resulting in discomfort.

Ice is useful for the management of acute and painful injuries, it is however ill suited to reducing inflammation because it reduces the skin interface temperature to an uncomfortable temperature which is counterproductive in the reduction of inflammation.