Hydrocollators & Accessories
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a hydrocollator?
Primarily used in physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics, hydrocollators are stainless steel tanks that utilize moisture to heat and store therapeutic hot packs at a consistent temperature. Hydrocollator packs, made of bentonite clay and other natural materials, are designed specifically for use in these units and should never be heated in a microwave, oven or any other unit. Applied to the body as needed, these packs are effective in alleviating inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, joint defect or injury, sprains, and bruises.
How should I properly store hydrocollator packs?
Hydrocollator packs should be stored in a hydrocollator unit with a consistent temperature between 150 to 170 degrees. Checking your unit’s temperature frequently will ensure the pack’s physical integrity and keep them bacteria-free. If hydrocollator packs are left at room temperature for too long, the bentonite clay could begin to dry out leaving the packs unable to reheat properly. In the instance you need to remove the packs from the heating unit for a prolonged period of time, experts recommend storing them in a freezer. Upon thawing, the packs will re-hydrate.
How do I apply moist heat?
Moist heating pads vary in type and style. While a physical therapist may employ a hydrocollator to heat pads like Chattanooga Hydrocollator® Packs - HotPac Moist Heat Packs & Steam Packs, others are designed to be plugged into a standard wall outlet or can be easily heated in a microwave. The Thermophore MAXHeat Moist Heating Pad is easy to use; simply plug it in, choose either a low, medium or high heat setting and apply. Heating pads like the Relief Pak® Moist Heat Packs are microwave safe and used in either a home or professional setting. All moist heating pads, whether heated electrically, at home or in a clinician’s controlled water bath, should be applied with care. To avoid burns, always use a towel, cover or protective layer between the affected area and the heated device. Please avoid applying heat therapy to bruised, swollen, infected or broken skin.