What is Hydrocollator Therapy?
Hydrocollator Therapy is a natural, pharmacological free way of providing relaxing heat therapy to tight muscles.
The warming treatment relaxes painful muscle spasms, promoting recovery and relieving pain.
The benefits of heat therapy are multiple and proven, heat increases arterial blood flow which carries oxygen and nutrients to the tissue, accelerating the recovery time of the tissue.
Heat also has the additional benefit of reducing spasm, which increases mobility of the joint, protecting against further muscle tightness.
Hydrocollator packs are bentonite-filled cloth heating pads, which are placed in pack heating machines to be warmed.
The benefits of Hydrocollator therapy are the easy heating method, as well as the insulating, heat retaining quality of the packs.
Hydrocollator packs can be reheated in 20 minutes and remain warm throughout the 30 minute recommended application time.
After the packs have been heated they should be wrapped in terry towelling to protect the user against superficial burns to the skin, the user can vary the heat intensity by increasing or decreasing the number of toweling layers.
The moist pack produces steam when heated, which can penetrate terry towelling to provide the user with moist heat therapy treatment.
Hydrocollator heat pack covers, which are custom designed to specifically fit Hydrocollator packs provide an alternative to terry towelling, while retaining the benefits of toweling, such as a protective barrier between the pack and the skin and providing moist heat to the area.
Moist heat is the preferred choice of heat in promoting recovery, while dry heat can dehydrate the skin, moist heat aids in the deep penetration of heat to the muscles, provides a greater level of relief to affected areas.
Hydrocollator pack covers are sold separately on the Physiotherapy Store.
The Hydrocollator is ideal for busy Physiotherapists and health centers, the quick and easy to use functionality of the Hydrocollator allows for maximum patient care with minimum fuss.
How do you Use the Hydrocollator?
Before the packs can be heated up, they need soaking in water, this should be done in the Hydrocollator machine for at least 3 hours. Once the packs have been soaked, they can be heated.
To heat the packs unplug the machine and fill the Hydrocollator with water, after this place the wire rack in the machine and fill the machine with more water if needed to ensure all the packs are submerged.
Adjust the temperature on the thermostat as necessary so that the water is heated to 71ºC or 160ºF and wait for the machine to heat the water, this should take 2 to 3 hours.
Once the water is of a sufficient temperature, the packs are ready to be heated, the packs only need to be left 20 minutes to reach the required temperature.
Use the tabs when removing a pack to avoid burning and wrap the pack in terry toweling or similar. After the pack is wrapped it is ready to be placed on the body.
Change the water daily after use or when the water becomes cloudy.
The water can be easily removed using a draining valve.
The Hydrocollator should be cleaned monthly.
The Hydrocollator should only be used trained medical specialists in order to ensure safe usage of the packs.