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What is a Wheat Bag?

By T. Broderick
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A wheat bag is a reusable hot or cold pack meant to treat sore muscles and joints. As the name suggests, a wheat bag is a closed cloth sack filled with wheat. When microwaved, the wheat inside retains heat long enough to give relief to wherever on the body the user places the bag. The same is true with cold after the wheat bag has spent time in the freezer. With proper care, a wheat bag can give many years of effective use.

A heat bag is appropriate for a variety of muscle and joint ailments such as muscle or tendon injury. Regular joint pain and sore muscles are other reasons a person would use a wheat bag. For example, a warm heat bag increases blood flow in the affected area, thus relieving pain. A cold bag numbs pain by slowing the flow of blood. A user should try both ways to see which method works best.

Besides giving palliative care, another way to use a wheat bag is to apply it to previously sore or injured areas before a workout or other physical activity. The application of heat or cold should reduce later soreness or pain. Along with over-the-counter pain medication, a wheat bag can become a valuable tool in treating minor aches and pains. Yet if pain should persist or become worse over time, going to a doctor is advisable as there might be an underlying condition.

Many wheat bags have a long and narrow shape that allow the user to wrap it around an affected area such as a leg or lay it across the top of the back. Others are small, hand-held models that allow the user to concentrate the heat or cold onto one place. Those designed for the lower back resemble a pillow.

As a wheat bag will often come into direct contact with skin, it will accumulate dead skin cells, sweat and oil. Cleaning the bag is a simple procedure. Going over the cloth with a damp sponge is the best method and will ensure that the bag stays in good condition.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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Discussion Comments
By anon244361 — On Feb 01, 2012

Pretty solid summary of what a wheat bag is.

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