Hot or cold compression can be useful for many things. A hot pack for example can be useful to add warm compression to an earache, muscle ache, or a jaw ache etc, or alternatively help alleviate the pain of an unsettled stomach. At the same time it can also be useful for just keeping us warm and if you have a home that isn’t that well heated then it can be very useful for making sure that you don’t spend the night shivering. Meanwhile though cold compression can also be useful, to help bring down a high temperature, to aid a headache, or to stop swelling. As such there are countless uses for either and they’re things that it always pays to have to hand.
The good news is though that if you don’t happen to have a hot pack or cold pack on you, then there are several ways you can make them yourself using items that you have around the home which we will address here.
A rice sock for instance is one easy way to make either a cold pack or a hot pack and is something that can be re-used over and over again. You may have come across stuffed toys that you can heat in the microwave for children to sleep with and these use a very simple to mimic process by allowing you to heat up or cool dry rice which holds temperature relatively well and is quite a nice texture.
To make a rice sock then all you need to do is to take a sock and fill it with dried rice, then tie a stable not in the end. You can now put this rice sock in the freezer in order to make it cold enough to be used for cold compression and it will remain cold for a long time. Alternatively you can heat it in the microwave or on a hot radiator and it will become warm enough to help a poorly stomach or to ease a toothache. At the same time they will be soft and practical for strapping to a limb under some bandage and a safety pin, or using some string making them highly versatile.
Hot Water Bottles
Hot water bottles can also be used as hot packs or cold packs if you have one to hand simply by filling them with either boiling water or very cold water (run the cold tap for a while and add ice if you want to make it colder). It is important to use actual hot water bottles though and not to try and make your own using bags as it can otherwise burst and scold you.
One way you can mimic a hot water bottle however is using a plastic bottle. Add hot, but not boiling water into the bottle and then wrap it in a cloth, or alternatively fill it with cold water and some ice. This is a very quick and easy way to make a hot or cold compress using things that can be found anywhere. Even using hot or cold water from a tap can help this.
In fact in an emergency a cold compress is particularly easy to create out of a whole range of things. Think outside the box and try using cans of coke or beer, wine bottles or even frozen vegetables. If it’s too cold simply use a thin piece of cloth to wrap the item until you can make something more appropriate.