Most of my pain is in my neck, shoulders, and upper back area, but in recent years it has spread to my hips, thighs and glutes. Not so fun. Light massage has always been very helpful to loosen things up and relieve some of the pressure, but I also love to use heat when I am achy and/or in pain. I’m not sure of the science of whether to use ice or heat for muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia. My current massage therapist told me to use ice when muscles are inflamed, but my muscles are pretty much always inflamed and the thought of using ice makes me cringe.
I love using heat and my favorite way to do this is through a rice heat pack. I made mine myself several years ago. It was very easy. I took a LARGE tube sock and filled it half-way with white, long grain rice (not instant), and then tied the end of the sock. Voila! Easy and cheap! I put it in the microwave for about two minutes and then I have a perfect heat pack. It is perfectly long enough to stretch across my neck and cover both shoulders. It is so relaxing and feels so good to me!
In research for writing this blog, I googled rice heat packs and there are a ton of resources and suggestions out there for making your own. You can add essential oils to make your rice pack smell good. You can use towels or pretty cotton material to sew your own packs to make it look pretty. Or sew a pillowcase type thing to go on the rice pack so you can remove it and wash it. Some suggest using a cup of water in the microwave while heating it to make it moist and prevent fires, but I’ve never done this and haven’t had any problems. You can be creative as you want. And now that I have read all these suggestions about how to make your own, I think I will go and make mine a little prettier. Or at least update the rice. I’ve had it for a long time! 🙂
Do you enjoy using heat to help your pain? What kind of heat do you use? Share with us because it may help someone else too!