Heating Compress


Definition:
A mild, prolonged application of moist heat of several hours duration.

Effects:

  1. Relaxes muscles.
  2. Relieves pain of throat or rheumatic joints.
  3. Relieves abdominal discomfort (use moist abdominal bandage).
  4. Reduces joint inflammation.
  5. A mild heating effect.

Things Needed:

  1. A piece of cotton cloth, folded for moderate thickness, about two inches wide and long enough to wrap around the neck or joint twice. A lady’s hankie (small size and thin), folded lengthwise, will do, if to be applied on the throat.
  2. A piece of flannel cloth, about four inches wide and long enough to wrap about the joint or neck. A baby’s flannel blanket or diaper, folded lengthwise, will be just right for the knees.
  3. Two safety pins.
  4. If medicated compress is ordered, use the medication prescribed. Vicks Vaporub ointment may be used.

Procedure:

  1. Soak cloth with tap water. Wring and put around the neck or joint twice. Be sure the wet cloth is neither too wet to drip nor too dry. If medicated compress is applied, rub area with prescribed medication or ointment. Do not wet the cloth with water but wrap the cloth around the area dry after the medication is applied. (In applying a plain heating compress, wet cloth is applied without medication.)
  2. Apply compress smoothly and quickly to avoid chilling.
  3. With the piece of flannel cloth, wrap compress snugly to exclude air and pin securely on the side of the neck or joint.
  4. Leave compress on overnight or at least for 6-8 hours.
  5. Take care that the compress is not too tight so it does not interfere with circulation and joint movements.
  6. Rub the area with a cloth wrung out of cold water (tap water) immediately after removing the compress in the morning or after 6-8 hours.
  7. Dry the area thoroughly. Compress may be applied once or twice a day.

Note:
It is best to apply a heating compress at night just before retiring.

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