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Hydrocollator in Seattle

When we get injured or feel pain in our muscles, our first instinct is to alleviate the discomfort. There are many ways to do this, such as taking pain medication, icing the affected area, or using heating pads. However, one of the most effective methods many healthcare professionals swear by is hydrotherapy. Specifically, they use hydrocollators to help their patients recover quickly and comfortably.

What Is It?

First introduced in 1947 by the Chattanooga Pharmaceutical Company, a hydrocollator consists of a thermostatically controlled water bath for placing bentonite-filled cloth heating pads. When a pad is removed from the bath, it is placed in a thick terry cloth cover and applied onto involved areas of the patient.

What Are the Benefits?

Hydrocollators provide moist heat that helps decrease inflammation by improving blood flow, leading to reduced swelling, pain, and muscle spasms. This makes it an excellent method of pain relief for patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic back pain.

And because a hydrocollator helps increase localized circulation, body ranges of motion are improved, and soft tissue waste buildup is more easily removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what temperature are hydrocollators usually set?

The heated water baths are set at approximately 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the hydrocollator’s immersion is hot enough to kill any bacteria or living organisms, making it ideal to maintain the hot packs.

How long are the heating pads applied?

Prior to spinal manipulation, Dr. Wechselberger usually applies a hydrocollator heating pad over treatment areas for 2 minutes. This short period allows adequate heating and increased circulation. Once muscles are loosened, we have found treatments are easier to perform. Some patients have different tolerances to this heat, and we will accommodate as needed.

Is this therapy safe?

Yes, hydrocollators are a safe way to apply heat therapy. Unlike electric heating pads or other heat sources, hydrocollators do not generate electromagnetic radiation. This makes them an ideal choice for patients with pacemakers or other medical devices affected by electromagnetic radiation.

Book an Appointment

Experience the positive effects of hydrocollator therapy. Contact us to schedule an appointment!


Hydrocollator Seattle, Crown Hill, Ballard WA | (206) 782-8500