Using a Wheat Warmer for Hot, Cold and Contrast Therapy

Using a Wheat Warmer for Hot, Cold and Contrast Therapy

Blue Badge Company Wheat Warmers are a great, soothing treat to warm you up and to relax your muscles, they can also be used to treat injuries and pain.

The Wheat Warmer can be heated in a microwave or cooled in a fridge or freezer and placed on the body to effect pain relief.

Wheat Warmers are a great alternative to hot water bottles, especially for people who would rather avoid handling very hot water. They are also more flexible than hot water bottles or ice packs, moulding easily to the body to better target specific areas of pain. Buy a wheat warmer HERE.

Instructions and safety precautions are listed below.

How Does Heat Therapy Work?

The heat from the wheat warmer creates vasodilation, expanding the blood vessels and increasing circulation. This relaxes the muscles, reducing pain and relieving cramping.In addition, nutrients are drawn to the injured or painful area via the blood which contributes to the healing process whilst also helping the body’s cells remove waste products. 

Heat is not the right therapy for everyone though, heat can exacerbate inflammation.

Heat Therapy can

  • Reduce Swelling
  • Relax aching muscles and reduce stiffness
  • Prepare muscles for exercise or movement by warming them up
  • Improve and increase circulation

Heat Therapy Instructions

Place the Wheat Warmer in a microwave and heat on full power for a maximum of:

  • 2mins – 700 Watt
  • 1.5 mins – 1000 Watt

Position the heated Wheat Warmer on any part of the body for a quick soothing relief avoiding open wounds or sensitive skin.

Leave the heated Wheat Warmer in position for about 15 to 20 minutes.

It is important to follow safety guidelines when using heat treatment and to know when it can be of benefit and when to avoid it. See precautions below.

Do NOT Use Heat Therapy…

  • Immediately following an injury. It will increase swelling and pain. Cold therapy is better at this time.
  • When you are already very hot, on a hot day for example.
  • On open wounds or injuries which are still swelling up.
  • Directly on the abdomen if you are pregnant
  • For extended periods of time. If it is too hot, prolonged use can cause burns.
  • Under bedclothes.

How Does Cold Therapy Work?

Using the Wheat Warmer for cold therapy creates an opposite effect in the body, narrowing the blood vessels and slowing circulation. The cold causes the muscles to contract, reduces inflammation and temporarily decreases nerve activity around the affected area so that pain signals to the brain are interrupted.

Cold Therapy can

  • Reduce swelling
  • Reduce pain
  • Decrease bleeding (when used on open wounds)

Cold Therapy Instructions

Place the Wheat Warmer in a sealed bag in the freezer for around 2.5 hours though it may be cold enough to use within an hour.

NB: You can leave your Wheat Warmer in the freezer indefinitely, refreezing and storing in the freezer is not damaging to it. However, it is important to allow the Wheat Warmer to come to room temperature before microwaving.

Place the Wheat Warmer onto the affected area. If it is uncomfortably cold on the

skin, use a tea-towel or cloth to protect your skin.

Doctors recommend using cold therapy for a maximum of 10 – 15 minutes at a time and, where possible, to elevate the affected area.

Return your Wheat Warmer to the freezer or fridge. You may repeat this practice every 2 to 3 hours but only when your skin has returned to a normal temperature.

There are, however, times when cold therapy can make the pain worse. Here are some occasions when you should NOT use cold or ice treatment.

Do NOT Use Cold Therapy…

  • When your body is already cold; it will affect your body’s ability to get warm.
  • If you have a sensory disorder which might prevent you from knowing when the cold Wheat Warmer has been on your body for too long.
  • If you have any issues with poor circulation, heart disease or cardiovascular disease. In these circumstances, always consult your doctor.
  • On an area where the muscles are tight; the cold will tighten the muscle even more and increase rather than decrease the pain.
  • When the pain is in the lower back or in the neck. These areas do not respond well to cold therapy due to trigger points in the spine which can interpret extreme cold as a threat and cause the muscles to spasm.

Contrast Therapy

Contrast Therapy is using Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy alternately to treat pain or injury. You can use two of our Wheat Warmers, one hot, one cold to perform Contrast Therapy at home.

Hot and Cold Contrast Therapy Instructions

Following an injury, contrast therapy may be helpful to relieve pain and reduce Swelling.

Prepare your Wheat Warmers, one for heat one for cold as described above.

Use a clock or timer to keep track of how long you have used each type of therapy.

Although it isn’t necessary to be strictly precise, a useful rule of thumb is to follow a ratio of one minute cold to three or four minutes hot:

Cold 1 : 3 – 4 Hot

Repeat this pattern about three times. The whole session will last about 15 minutes. It is recommended to begin and end with cold therapy to reduce inflammation.

Your Wheat Warmers will remain at a desirable temperature during the process. Do not be tempted to reheat the Wheat Bag between applications as this can result in the wheat becoming too hot, which can cause contact burns or potential combustion.

Here is a suggested pattern of how to use hot and cold therapy:

  • Start with 1 minute of cold
  • Apply heat for 3 minutes
  • Apply cold for 1 minute
  • Apply heat for 3 minutes
  • Apply cold for 1 minute
  • Apply heat for 3 minutes
  • End with 1 minute of cold

Carry out contrast therapy twice a day until the injury has healed. If, after two or three days you do not see improvements, consult your doctor.


  • Immediately following an injury, cold therapy is better than heat or contrast therapy. Heat can make inflammation worse.
  • After heating, always allow at least 2 hours before re-heating your wheat warmer.
  • Do not heat your wheat warmer if it is wet or even damp. If it gets wet, dry it out completely before use.
  • Only heat using a domestic microwave and ensure it is clean and free from debris.
  • Never leave the Wheat Warmer unattended during heating and watch for signs of overheating such as a burning smell, or smoke. Should this occur remove the product from the microwave with a non-combustible implement and immerse it in cold water.
  • Always test how warm the wheat warmer is before use, especially if it is to be used by the young or elderly and supervise where necessary.
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