Torticollis is benign but very disabling. Rest and warmth are strongly recommended to relieve the pain.
Patches or heating gels for pain, how to choose?
The effect of the heating patches lasts several hours
The heat is produced when the components, iron, coal and water, are brought into contact with air when the device is opened. Some models are applied to clothing, avoiding any contact with the skin. It takes 30 minutes to fully feel the sensation of heat, which persists for several hours but often fades before the 8 to 10 hours of action indicated by the manufacturers. Choose a size adapted to the neck and shoulders because the device cannot be cut, it would become ineffective and its components, irritating to the skin, would be released.
Some products with a heating effect contain essential oils
That of wintergreen in particular, is widely used to relieve muscle or joint pain or those of katafray, lavandin … With a relaxing and anti-inflammatory aim, they can help relieve more marked discomfort. The heating effect is linked to capsaicin, an extract of a red pepper. It is felt more or less depending on its sensitivity and can last up to 8 hours or even more. No specific shapes for these patches, but they can be cut out before applying them to the skin.
Heating effect gels are cheaper and work quickly
The heat felt, which varies depending on the person (1 or 2 hours), is less than with a patch, but still provides a relaxant effect. These products are therefore supposed to be more effective than conventional anti-inflammatory gels (Voltaren Actigo, Nurofen…). All are concentrated in anti-inflammatory and analgesic essential oils, often combined with camphor and / or menthol which provide an immediate soothing effect. Those which additionally contain salicylated derivatives, have a more powerful action. In case of sensitive skin, test on a small area.
Muscle relaxant ointments are available without a prescription
Like balm Decontractyl, which contains mephenesin. Better to seek the advice of a health professional, because this molecule can be the cause of rare, but serious allergic manifestations.
Urgo Neck Heating Patch Sensitive skin
(Urgo) around € 11 for a box of 2 patches.
- Particular signs : a patch designed to be applied to clothing with an ergonomic, “U” shape that hugs the back of the neck. The manufacturer indicates a heating action of 10 hours.
- For who ? From 12 years old for sensitive skin, specifically to relieve muscle tension in the neck.
Our advice: the heat diffused is stronger than a classic patch and passes through a T-shirt or a thin sweater. However, do not apply this model directly to the skin: for an action on the top of the neck, stick it on a turtleneck.
Thermacare Self-heating Patch Neck Shoulder Wrist
(Pfizer), between € 15 and € 18 for a box of 6 patches.
- Particular signs : economical packaging. An elongated patch to apply to the skin that can be positioned on the back of the neck or on the side if torticollis predominates on the right or on the left. It peels off and is easily repositioned. A duration of action of 8 hours.
- For who ? From 12 years old to relieve stiff neck or muscle or rheumatic pain in the neck.
Our advice: the heat-induced relaxant effect persists after removing the patch, hence the 16 hours of relief indicated by the manufacturer on the packaging.
Cervical & Trapezius Hot Cold Actipoche
(Cooper), between 13 and 15 € the thermal pad.
- Particular signs : a thermal pocket usable hot or cold with a shape adapted to cover the neck and shoulders. After passing the bag in the microwave or in simmering water for about 1 minute, the cushion diffuses heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
- For who ? In case of sensitive skin or if you want a reusable model for use at home.
Our advice: much more covering than a patch, this model allows you to feel a good diffusion of heat. It lasts less than a patch but you can repeat the operation.
Joints & Muscles Patches Phytosun arôms
(Omega Pharma), around € 12.20 for 3 rectangular patches (16 x 11 cm).
- Particular signs : a patch to cut, heating for about 8 hours thanks to the presence of capsaicin. It combines 9 essential oils including those of wintergreen, katafray, lavender, red myrtle or ylang-ylang, indicated in the event of muscle contractures. Scentless.
- For who ? From 15 years old to relieve torticollis or other muscle or joint pain. Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin or have a history of seizures.
Our advice: some people react strongly to the action of capsaicin. Remove the patch if the feeling of heat is too intense.
Neuriplège Activ Massage cream
(Juniper), around € 7.90 per 50 g pump bottle.
- Particular signs : a massage cream with a heating effect combining anti-inflammatory methyl salicylate, camphor and analgesic and anti-inflammatory essential oils (menthol, eucalyptol, etc.). The presentation in a pump bottle is practical. It also ensures good asset conservation.
- For who ? From 15 years old, in case of contracture or muscle pain. No use in case of allergy to aspirin or history of seizure.
Our advice: a cream that can warm up the muscles before an effort. Wash hands thoroughly after use.
Le Comptoir Aroma Relaxing Massage Roll-on
(Gilbert), between € 7 and € 9 for a 50 ml roll-on.
- Particular signs : a roller with a fairly large ball, with a heating effect for up to 2 hours, composed of organic anti-inflammatory and relaxing essential oils: wintergreen, ginger, lavandin, juniper …
- For who ? From 12 years old, in case of contracture or localized muscle pain. No use in case of allergy to aspirin (wintergreen) or history of convulsion.
Our tip: a small, practical size to take and use. For better efficiency, gently massage the painful area for a few minutes with the roller.