When the Cold Strikes Yet Again!

Last updated: December 2023

Going into the fall and winter months means the cold is returning, even to the warmest parts of the country. Around this time last year in Florida, our temperatures went from 85 to 39 in one day, and that level of temperature change can make my body hurt.

Discovering a new tool for winter RA pain

I've talked about this before, but what I haven't mentioned is the new tool I found that helps me deal with this level of pain. I discovered it a few years ago right at the end of the colder months.

The tool I'm referring to is a wrap-around heating pad. I know that heating pads are widely talked about in our community, but this one is a little bit different for a variety of reasons.

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First, it has velcro tabs on it, so it can wrap around any joint that is sore or in pain. I believe that it was originally designed to be used on the legs/thighs, but it is so expandable that it can really be used anywhere on the body. I've recently used it on my hands, where I was able to place the bulk of the heating element onto my wrist and wrap it around so that the heat was evenly distributed. It made a world of difference to the pain I was feeling, especially in the colder weather.

Accessibility wins in heating pad functionality

What makes this heating pad even more cool — no pun intended — is that the heating element is removable, so you can pop it in the microwave to accelerate the warming process. This is useful for the gel pack because you don't have to keep waiting for the heat to reach its fullest potential. Which brings me to my next point: there is another heating element in this wraparound. You can actually control the level of heat on a remote. With four different settings — low, medium, high, and max — you can control the heat to exactly the level your pain needs and, yes, mine is usually on the max setting.

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One major helpful thing with this heating pad is that I don't have to keep removing the gel heating element and microwaving it because of the ability to plug in the heating pad. With previous heating pads, I would have to constantly microwave the heating pad to keep it as hot as I needed. Now, with this unit, I don't have to. This has been a huge accessibility win for me as someone who would be in so much pain that it often would not be possible to get up and microwave the gel heating unit again.

I highly recommend it

Because of all this, I do want to share the specific model of the heating pad: the Pure Enrichment PureRelief Universal Joint and Muscle Heating Pad, available from Target. Please note that I do not receive any endorsement from Target, the company who makes this heating pad, or any other source; this is just my personal experience with the heating pad, and I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with pain like I do, especially in the colder months.

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