This week we've been testing the TheraPearl hot and cold therapy packs - from £8.00.
These blue packs may look a bit space age, but trust me, they are very much of this planet! Sometime before Christmas I had the bad luck of slipping on a pesky bit of ice and twisted my knee slightly. Whenever I hurt my knees (also being a snowboarder, that's pretty often) I seem to always wobble over onto the same one, so it's a bit vulnerable now and it doesn't take much to make it feel bashed. This time the knee was puffy and painful but not too bruised - I knew though that I was out of action for a week or so. Fortunately for me, a TheraPearl therapy pack had arrived in the office just before the slip and I had it at home to try. It was the knee pack - how lucky was I? These packs are described as the drug-free way to relieve pain and inflammation, using pearl technology and delivering either hot or cold to the affected area depending on what you need. I used it cold for the first day while the trauma was still fresh, then switched to hot. The pack was held in place by easy to use straps. It was comfortable to wear and I could move around while doing so - it conforms to the body, making it less bulky than some packs. To use it cold, it goes in the freezer for two hours. For hot, just pop it into the microwave for however long it says on the instructions - it differs depending on which one you're using due to size. I found it very useful - alleviated the pain and helped with the swelling pretty quickly. I was running again within a week - if this was down to the pack, I'll never really know, but with injuries like this I'm usually out of action for a bit longer. Definitely better than using frozen peas that's for sure! I'll definitely be taking it to the Alps with me this year.
You leave the pack on for 20 minutes then re-freeze or re-heat and use again if needed. The are not only used for injuries - they can be used hot before activity to warm the muscles and stimulate blood flow and after activity to lessen wear and tear. They are not particularly expensive, can be used over and over and are easily cleaned, so worth the investment in my book. You can get them for all parts of the body.
To get your hands on one (or two) head to www.boots.com