Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

I have tried many relief measures for back pain both over-the-counter and prescription. The reason why is because I have endured back pain for more than ten years. Part of the problem is genetic, so it is something I must live with to some degree. I would like to inform you fellow sufferers of one over-the-counter remedy that does not even come close to living up to its claims.

My level of back pain varies from “a little” to “excruciating”. Let me be clear that I do not expect an “over-the-counter” remedy to give me relief for “excruciating”. I do have prescription medications for that level. But there is no reason to kill a fly with a sledgehammer. I do not want to use more medication than is needed. I also understand that over-the-counter products often can give you some relief but not completely erase your pain.

ThermaCare is a heat wrap. A heat wrap is an item you literally wrap around the area of your body that hurts and it is supposed to give out soothing heat, and therefore relief, to that area. This is a relatively new product that you can use while you are active. There are different ones for your arms, legs, and back.

The benefits include its portability and ease of use. It is true that ThermaCare is completely portable. This is a great benefit. No batteries or plugs are needed. It is lightweight as well. In addition, they are very easy to use. You simply take them out of the package and wrap them around your affected area. You can wear them anywhere, anytime without anyone knowing.

I was quite excited when I first saw this product and eagerly went to the drugstore to purchase some after I saw the commercial on television. The cost is moderate, but you only get two wraps per package. They are available in two sizes, S/M and L/XL. The directions state that they are air-activated and only need to be unwrapped and opened in order to work. You must place the correct side directly to your skin.

Proper safety warnings are on the package including the caution not to ingest any part of the product. Generally when my back acts up I am not hungry.

It states you will get eight hours of heat which in turn will restore circulation to the affected area. It is recommended that you wear the wrap for the full eight hours to get the affect. On the front of the package it states “Powerful Pain Relief and Deep Muscle Relaxation”. Unfortunately I cannot attest to this product’s claim. In fact, this is likely the worst waste of money I have ever spent on a product seeking pain relief.

I followed the directions exactly to get to the best back pain doctor in town to have the information over the injury that is related to my spine; which I got during the time of work and now its getting worsen. But the doctor has performed several therapies which reduced the pain and helped in the easy recovery. I kept the wrap on for eight hours. I wanted it to work. But I felt absolutely no heating affect at all. Not even after eight hours. To be fair, I thought perhaps I just did something wrong or missed part of the directions. My pain was still mild to moderate, so the next day I opened another wrap, reread all the directions and reapplied the wrap.

Eight hours later I have to say again I felt no relief at all, and felt only the very smallest signs of “heat” from the wrap. The only time I felt even a remnant of heat I was sitting down with my back pressed very firmly against the back of a chair. I thought one shouldn’t have to try that hard for the product to work. After two tries and rereading all the directions, I felt I had given this product a fair chance. Unfortunately, I do not recommend it to anyone.