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ThermaCare is the brand name of a disposable heating pad made by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. A type of Continuous Low-level Heatwrap Therapy (CLHT), ThermaCare heatwraps activate upon contact with the air, providing approximately eight hours of heat directly where the heatwrap is applied. Thermacare heatwraps are available for specific applications, including neck or wrist pain, low back pain, knee pain and menstrual cramps. The brand was first introduced in 2001 by Procter & Gamble. P&G sold the ThermaCare brand to Wyeth in 2008, and merged with Pfizer in 2009.
Continuous Low-level Heatwrap Therapy (CLHT) has been shown to provide better results than cold therapy in the early treatment and prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)--muscle soreness that occurs within 1 to 2 days of physical exertion.
In a low back pain study conducted at the U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation in San Diego, California in 2006, participants treated with Continuous Low-level Heatwrap Therapy (CLHT) prior to exercise reported less intense pain and less trouble moving after 24 hours than the control group. Study participants treated with the heatwraps also showed greater (138%) pain relief than those who received standard cold pack treatment, according to the study's research director, John Mayer, Ph.D. The study concluded that heatwraps were effective in the early treatment and prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)--soreness that occurs within one to two days of physical exertion.
Thermacare heatwraps have been studied in 13 randomized controlled clinical trials for muscle pain relief efficacy.
How it works
The heat is generated from a chemical reaction, iron oxidation, when the pads are unsealed and exposed to air. Iron oxidation is also involved in the rusting of metal, and the transportation of oxygen in blood. The pads' ingredients include activated carbon, iron powder, sodium chloride, sodium thiosulfate, sodium polyacrylate and water, according to the Themacare FAQ
- Davis, Dyer et al. (May 1, 2004). "Rising Tide: Lessons from 165 Years of Brand Building at Procter and Gamble". Harvard Business Press. p. 426. Retrieved 2013-05-07.