Physical fitness is one thing everyone struggles with today. Especially in this era of white-collar jobs and people are rarely getting enough time to exercise. Most people have resulted in house exercise and therapeutic exercise. One of the pieces of equipment helping put people back on the healthy path is the hydrocollator pack.
Hydrocollator pack is kind of a medical tool used alongside hydrocollator unit. It contains natural fillings such a bentonite clay and it’s heated with a thermostatically controlled liquid. The concept of hydrocollators was first introduced by the Chattanooga Pharmaceutical Company in 1947. The heating packs are immersed in the hot water and heated up to approximately 160 degrees. The pads are covered with several layers of towels then applied on the body part and left in place for several minutes for the heat to penetrate the body tissues.
The main function of hydrocollator pack is to relieve various forms of body pains especially those related to muscles and joints. It works well for people struggling with arthritis, painful tissues, joints, and strains. Hydrocollator pack does this by increasing the temperatures of the affected tissue thus relaxing the muscle spasms and decongesting them to boost flexibility. It is commonly found with sports trainers, physical therapists, and kinesiologists. Hydrocollator pack helps to increase the rate of blood circulation thus speeding up the healing process of injured tissues and muscles.
What is Hydrocollator Used For?
Hydrocollator is used for heating the packs whenever a patient is referred for a moist, penetrating heat treatment. Moisture accelerates the rate of heat penetration into the muscle and skin layers to alleviate pain, relax the muscle and joints. The heating also leads to increased blood flow which is necessary for a speedy recovery of affected parts. You’ll find a hydrocollator with physical therapists and other medical practitioners.
How Do You Use a Hydrocollator Pack?
Hydrocollator pack has several uses on the human body. You can use it to relieve body pain or as part of general body therapy. To use it, first immerse in the hydrocollator for heating. The heating process should take approximately 20 minutes to raise the temperatures up to at least 160 degrees.
After heating, wrap the pack with several layers of towels preferably five. Then, once you are sure there are no exposed parts, you place it on the affected part of your body could be a leg, muscle, or joint. Leave it in place for like thirty minutes. If the part was aching, you should feel the effects by this time.
On the other hand, if you were carrying out massage, remove the pack, and then start the massage work. The packs help to relax the muscle and make the massage work easier. Once you are done with the pack, store it appropriately to ensure it doesn’t dry up.
10 Best Hydrocollator Moist Heat Packs
The genesis of effective deep heat penetration is a quality hydrocollator pack. There being several models, we dig into this large pool to bring you ten of the best that you can get in the market.
1. Chattanooga Hydrocollator Moist Heat HotPacs – 10″ x 12″ Standard Size
This pack can deliver the most needed relief for up to 30 minutes. It is the best of all Chattanooga heat pack and it’s preferred by most physicians, trainers, physiotherapists, and kinesiologists. It is an all-natural HotPac consisting of bentonite and hydrocolloid filling enclosed in a cotton woven blend. The ability to reheat and reuse this pack makes a cost-effective model to go for.
Additionally, it is specifically focused on preventing mildew growth. Therefore, if your treatment involves fungal elimination, this is your go for heat pack. This is in addition to other problems like arthritis, my0fibrosis, and muscle straining. Basically, you can enjoy all the benefits of a quality Chattanooga hydrocollator pack with this model.
- Can be used and reused for many times
- It’s a great pain reliever
- It is very cost effective
- Its standard size allows it to be used for different body parts
- It may start leaking after some time
- When exposed to extreme temperatures it can burst
2. Chattanooga Hydrocollator Moist Heat HotPacs – Neck Contour
Chiropractors and therapists can rely on this pack for deep heat healing and pain reliever. Chattanooga produces quality packs that you can be proud of whenever attending to your patients. This pack is made of cotton cover and clay filler that ensures perfect heat retention. Measuring about 10X12 inches, it is best for the neck. Its shape also is best for neck injuries and muscle complications. That doesn’t rule it out for use on other body parts. You can still use it on your legs, shoulders, and arms.
This HotPac can provide heat on your painful part for 20 minutes. It is lightweight and to ensure long life, you must soak it in water. If you are looking to enjoy perfect relief when watching a TV at home, this pack pad will give you exactly that.
- Wells contoured for grasping purposes
- Can be used on several body parts
- Has a cotton covering and clay fillings making it durable
- Has a thin padding
- Can only retain heat for 20 minutes
3. Chattanooga 1004 HotPac Hydrocollator Moist Heat, Oversize
Looking for an oversized hydrocollator pack that you’ll be able to use even on your back? This model covers you. It is made of Nylon and 60% cotton for quality surface and durability purposes. The single pack consists of eight single packs capable of working with all body contours. Many medical practitioners prefer this pack to others because it can work on a wide variety of parts.
With heat retention capability of up to 30 minutes, you can receive the coveted moist heat for the longest time. Featuring color-coded tables; you can easily rotate it with ease to ensure uniform heating. A single HotPac can give you hundreds of treatments without replacing them. Therefore, whether you want a personal pack, you can check this one out and you won’t regret it.
- Very quality and durable
- Features color coded tabs for ease of rotation
- Wide enough for use on any part of the body
- Retains heat for a long time to give you prolonged moist heat
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Most customers complain of bad smell
- The storage can be a problem
4. Chattanooga Hydrocollator Foam Filled Terry Cover – Standard without Pockets
This product is more of a cover than a pack. It is used in conjunction with the original Chattanooga moist heat packs. With its thick padding, this product provides incredible insulation to the hot packs thus evading excessive heat.
The cover consists of polyurethane foam sandwiched between terry cloth materials which are easy to wash and dry. The Velcro closures help you to hold the heating unit in place preventing slipping and unwrapping. Whether in a clinic or at home, this cover will work perfectly with any form of a hot pack.
- Features Velcro closure for holding the hot Pac in place
- The terry material cover is easy to clean and dry
- It’s very comfortable on the skin
- Features a thick padding that protects you from burning
- When used for long it starts leaking
- It is small in size
5. Knee Pain Kit with Electric Moist Heat and Cold Therapy
This is a two in one electric pack with both cooling and heating functionalities. For people suffering from chronic pain, this is a great companion. The heating part has three temperature settings and a time that can be used to automate the process. Once frozen it remains flexible and you can wrap it on various aching parts.
The cold pack can last between you 15 to 20 minutes. Their customized touch makes them unique and comfortable on the skin. It also provides its own moisture thus you don’t need to initiate cooling processes all the time.
- It’s a multipurpose pack
- Has its moisturizing mechanisms
- Features two temperature settings
- Very comfortable on the skin
- Doesn’t retain heat or cold for long
- It is pricey
How Does a Hydrocollator Work?
Hydrocollators are thermostatic heating devices used for physical therapy. They are made of stainless steel and can be either mobile or stationary. Whether stationary or mobile, hydrocollators are used to heat Bentonite-filled heat packs to a temperature of about 160 degrees. They have a hydraulic capillary thermostat responsible for ensuring that the packs are evenly heated. The function of insulated stainless steel is to guarantee a long life while insulation helps to prevent heat loss. It’s a way of preserving energy while preventing patients from burning.
A single hydrocollator can hold up to a minimum of four packs. This ensures that there are always readily available packs whenever needed. Since the packs are made of natural minerals, they can hold heat for as long as 30 minutes. The good thing is that they are in different sizes to allow use on different parts of the body; legs, shoulders, neck, etc.
When you want to apply the packs, you can use the tongs to avoid burning. After removing them from the water, drain them properly, and then wrap them in several layers of towels. Packs should never be allowed to come into direct contact with a naked body. Once covered, place the pack on the affected body part and leave it in place for some time. The duration can range between 15 to 30 minutes.
If you buy new packs, the first thing should be soaking them for at least 20 minutes. The soaking helps to ready the minerals to be ready to absorb heat evenly. Otherwise, it may not work well.
As you would have it with all medical equipment, hydrocollator and packs require maintenance. First of all, after use, you should place the pack in a microwave to prevent it from drying up completely. Allowing them to dry can destroy the mineral content present thus reducing its efficiency. The other important thing to do is to ensure that you keep the hydrocollator sanitized by cleaning it at least once after two weeks. It helps to avoid contamination of the packs after using them for a long time.
There is also a safety precaution when using hydrocollator. To avoid accidental burns, if you want to move it around, it is advisable to drain the hot water. Even if you trip, you’ll be safe.
6. ReliefPak Moist Heat Pack
Talk of a versatile heat pack, ReliefPak is one of them. You can rely on it to treat your sore parts, stiff muscles, and injured joints. The pack can be heated not only with hydrocollator but also by other means. This makes it attract a huge fanbase of adults and children at home as well as in busy environments like clinics. Capable of retaining heat for 30 minutes, this pack is so effective in deep heating.
Since they are latex-free, this heat pack doesn’t have the risk of allergy. It is also easy to store. All you need to do after use is wrap it with a wet cover and place it in a freezer. This makes it one of the most durable heat packs. Whether you are looking for a pack to use in your clinic or at home, ReliefPak is a good choice. Doesn’t have any negative side effects and the procedure to use is straightforward.
- Very versatile
- Can be used by both children and adults
- No allergy risks
- It is easy to travel with
- Covers most parts of the body fully like neck and back
- You can use various methods of heating
- You must heat it for long time on the first day of use or when you keep it for long
- Depicts poor workmanship
7. Battle Creek Back Pain Kit with Moist Heat and Cold Therapy
This multipurpose pack is used as cold and moist heat therapies. To keep the pack cold, all you need to do is squeeze the center of the flexible ice. It’ll turn stone-cold within seconds and you can go ahead to place it where you want. When cold, it is capable to stop body inflammation and swelling. A thick plastic lining is included to provide a tough covering that is hard to capture.
The pack is very convenient to use. You can just keep it in the freezer for instant use whenever required. It uses a non-toxic gel for cooling which is kept in a strong storage container. This guarantees durability and efficiency.
- It is safe travel so you can use it while on the move
- No need for advance freezing
- It has a wide range of uses
- It is a patented non-allergic
- It small in size
- Can be hard to operate
8. Thermophore – 68093 Classic Plus Moist Heat Pack
Thermophore works as double equipment for heat and cold functionalities. It’s the best pack for people who fancy sleeping with a heating pad. Measuring 14X27 inches, this pack is long enough to cover the entire spine, shoulders, and legs longitudinally. The moist heat produced by the pack stimulates intense deep healing and quick relief.
Features classic features that help in effective moist heat delivery. Some of these features include three layers of cover of vinyl materials which allows you to add more water. The 10 feet cord provides enough flexibility for setting it up in the room. The cord also has a high power rating between 150 to 165F.
- The best for physical therapy
- Has a long high-power cord
- It is multipurpose
- Has classic heat pack features
- Doesn’t have a functional switch
- It tends to slide on the body
9. Therapist’s ChoiceHydrocollator Heat Pack Terry Covers (Standard)
If you have a cervical sized heat pack can work best with this cover. It measures approximately 19X27 inches enough to cover all standard sized steam packs. To protect yourself against excessive heat, cover the heat pack with this standard cover. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about sliding because the wrapper has Velcro closures. It is a protective cover that you can use for large scale purposes or even at home for personal therapy.
The good thing with these standard covers is that they are well insulated and padded, making them perfect.
- Fits perfectly according to body contours
- It’s a perfect cover
- Well padded making it comfortable on the skin
- It is durable
- Can feel rigid on some body parts
- Doesn’t soften easily
10. Therapist’s Choice® Hydroculator Heat Packs (Neck Contour 24″ Long)
For your neck moist heat therapy, this heat pack works wonders. It is very quality considering its affordable price. You can heat the pack either with a hydrocollator or with a pot. It’s perfect for the treatment of chronic pain, stiff muscles, and injuries. Very pliable if you heat it and will conform well to the body contours. It is designed for use at home and clinics therefore; there are no limitations to the use of this pack. When used at home, you should ensure you change it after approximately 6 months.
The long length allows it to cover the body properly for deep heating. The coded tabs help to rotate it for even heating.
- It is affordable
- You can heat it through various means other than hydrocollator
- It is long enough to cover most parts
- The coded tabs help in rotating
- Must be replaced after about six months
- Emits some foul smell
Key Considerations Before Buying Hydrocollator Pack
The heat retention capacity of a hydrocollator park is an important factor that you should consider. It determines the length of time the heat park will take to work on your aching part without becoming cold. The higher the heat retention capacity, the better results you get from the heat pack.
The heat pack should be easy to heat up but hard to lose heat. This helps to conserve energy. The source of your heat should also be in mind. For example, if you are using the hydrocollator, you should ensure that the pack will endure the heat without bursting.
The sizing of a heat pack determines the parts it can work on. Big heat packs are more versatile in their use because they can work on several body parts. Smaller sized packs have limited options because they can’t wrap some parts that are too big. For example, you can find a pack that can work on the neck but not the back or the shoulders. Therefore, you should choose the size of your hydrocollator pack carefully depending on where you want to use it. If you are looking for your personal item, a big one is advisable because you can use it on several parts of the body.
If you are looking for a clinic heat pack, going for customized products is more beneficial. They tend to work best on their specific organs or parts. In most cases, you find if a pack is meant for the neck it’ll fit properly round the neck.
Additional features on heat packers are crucial in the operation of these important items. Some of the essential additions are the temperature control settings and self-moisturizing features. The heat packs with temperature control settings make it easy to heat your pack as you can automate the process. They also help to keep the users safe whenever using the packs.
You should always aim at getting the product with the most features within your budget. The good thing is that there are several models with many features that you can find at a low cost. Some products come with wrappers which cut on the cost of buying a separate cover.
User reviews are very important whenever you are shopping for anything in today’s market. The reviews act as the eyes of the buyer as they represent the true sentiments of the people who have interacted with the product.
If you find a heat pack with more positive reviews, the chances are that the product will satisfy your needs. If it has many negative reviews, you better avoid it lest the next review will be yours.
The materials making up the interior and external parts of the heat pack are equally important. For example, most of the heat packs contain Bentonite clay which retains a lot of heat and the material lasts long. You should also consider the composition of the outside fabric. There are some heat packs made of quality cotton covers that are quality and can last several years. The good the quality of the external material, the more durable the heat pack will last. Some materials also are allergic and you should check to ensure if you are buying for yourself, they won’t affect you negatively.
Ease to Use
Go for a heat pack with an exhaustive user manual. This will enable you to operate it without any complications. Usability is even more important because a heat pack is a hot product that is placed on the body. Therefore, accuracy is very critical and a simple mistake can lead to serious burns.
What Is The Correct Temperature For A Hydrocollator?
Hydrocollators do not have a fixed temperature unit to operate at. Therefore, the best range for most units is between 160 to 165 degrees.
How Long Should A Hydrocollator Pack Be Utilized?
15 to 30 minutes are enough time for hydrocollator pack on the affected part. This time allows the heat to penetrate deep into the body tissues or the muscles to bring much-needed relief. If you don’t feel okay, you can as well take a new pack and administer it on the part.
Whether you are attending to patients who need physical therapy or you want personal heat treatment for your strained muscles or joints, hydrocollator packs are your thing. These products have the ability to give your body an awesome feeling by relaxing all the strained, stiff, and even injured parts. Top of our list is the Chattanooga Hydrocollator Moist Heat HotPacs of a standard size. This heat pack has all the qualities to give you the best moist heating. Besides, it is also very affordable and almost anybody can afford it. Its heat retention stands at thirty minutes which is enough to heal your affected parts.
The above list consists of the best heat packs that you can have in the market. If you are out looking for a quality heat pack, you can narrow down your search to the products. They have great reviews and their track speaks well of them. The Chattanooga brand from which most of these products are coming has been manufacturing quality heat parks for over seven decades. Therefore, you can be sure the quality of these products isn’t questionable.