Heat packs can offer relief from an aching neck or other strained muscles. Retail heat packs can be pricey, but there are ways to achieve the same relief by making your own. With some simple items found around the house, you can inexpensively create effective heating packs that work as well as most commercial varieties. [things_needed_1] Place a funnel in the open end of a clean cotton sock. Pour rice (not instant or quick rice) through the funnel and into the sock so that the sock is 3/4 full. You can also use uncooked beans or mineral salt as an alternative to rice. Add the contents of a fragrant tea bag, herbs or a few drops of oils to the sock for a pleasant aroma. A cinnamon stick can also be added. Tie or sew the end of the sock, tightly, so that no rice can leak when held upside down. Alternatively, use a ribbon to tie off the end of the sock. Place the sock in the microwave for 2 minutes. The rice will retain heat and your homemade heat pack is ready to use.
- For variety, instead of a sock, you can use napkins, scraps from old sheets, or even decorative material remnants, folded in half and stitched up the sides.