My dog, Maestro, was diagnosed with Inter-vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and osteoarthritis earlier this year. We have been going to the Canine Aquafitness Centre in Okotoks for his laser therapy treatments. Each session ends with a round on the Platinum Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System. Now that his laser therapy appointments have decreased from weekly to every other week, it was time to purchase our own Thermotex for at home pain relief from his vet; not only his muscle and joint pain, but my own!
How the Infrared Therapy Works
The Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System provides pain relief using infrared thermal energy (heat). This penetrates below the skin surface, all the way down into deep tissues and joints.
The body temperature in the injured area increases, increasing the blood flow into that area. The result is that the infrared jolts the affected area(s) into repairing the damage.
Infrared heat therapy is used on humans as well as pets for temporary relief of muscle and joint pain, sprains, strains, muscle tension, arthritis and even cancer patients. Maestro's vet assured me that it is very safe to use.
Features of the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System
The Thermotex Personal Therapy System unit is 42 cm X 35 cm (17" X 15") The infrared heating plates are inside a soft, black case.
There are three settings on this product: High, Low and Off. The power cord is a decent length.
On the backside, there are removable Velcro straps. They can be used to wrap the device around the back, arm or leg.
In addition to the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System, there are two systems specifically for animals. The equine system is designed as a coat for the horses to wear. The pet therapy system offers a line of pet beds.
Using the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System
When you first take the unit out of its packaging, check the cords inside the unit to make sure that they are securely connected. One end of the casing can be opened for this purpose.
His vet recommended that I put the pad in a pillowcase to keep the unit clean. So far, so good.
To use, place the unit on the injured area. You can use the Velcro straps to secure it in place. Put it on the high setting for the first 15 minutes and then switch to low. The instructions recommend that the device be used for at least 30 minutes.
The unit can be used up to four times a day. As with any therapy, the frequency can decrease as your condition improves.
There are several warnings that are worth noting. First, it is not recommended to use the unit while sleeping. Second, the Thermotex™ Therapy System should not be used on infants and thirdly, the product shouldn't be used in conjunction with liniments, salves or ointments. There rest are the regular warnings about using an electrical device.
There is a one year parts and labour warranty on the Thermotex™ Therapy System. There is also a 30-day satisfaction guarantee from the creator of the Thermotex™ Therapy Systems.
User Experience with the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System
I purchased the device two weeks ago. Since then, Maestro has used the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System daily. He uses it two to three times a day for approximately 30 minutes.
Maestro gets fidgety once we near the 30 minute mark. His vet says that "He's cooked and done," when he becomes restless.
After each use, he is more mobile. Maestro attempts to jump up on the couch and to tackle the stairs ("No jumping, running or stairs" was the first thing his primary vet said to me when he was diagnosed). If I'm not fast enough or if I'm too slow to put the doggie gate up, he actually does.
As for me, I've been using it daily as well. I use it on my tense shoulders and to ease my lower back pain. I've been a bit more active lately, so I am also using it to prevent tendinitis in my arm and on an achy leg/hip.
Although I feel better immediately afterwards, its effects aren't consistent. It works extremely well on my back and shoulders. However, I've had limited success with my hip region. To be fair, I'm only using it once a day. I should actually follow the directions and increase usage to three or four times a day. As well, it is a little tricky to keep the pad in place at my hip.
When finished, I roll the unit up and wrap the power cord around it. It stores easily, although, with both of us using it daily, I don't bother putting it away.
Alternatives to Thermotex™ Personal Therapy Systems
The Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System is one of the pricier pain relief personal care products on the market. I purchased it from the Canine Aquafitness Centre for $249 CAD. I imagine other local dealers will sell it at a similar price. It sells on Amazon for $289.14 CAD. The Venture Heat KB-2436 Therapy Infrared Heating Pad retails for approximately $155 CAD. The Therasage HB-1600 Far-Infrared Heat Therapy Healing Belt With Battery is more expensive at $300 CAD. If you want the benefits of infrared heat therapy at an entry-level price, you could check out the Infrared Deep Heat Wand for less than $30 CAD.
There are also infrared light therapy systems. Prior to purchasing the Thermotex™ Platinum, we were using the Light Relief Infrared Pain Relief Device ($84.99). Gaiam sells a Deep Penetrating Light Therapy device for $169 USD. There is also the Sirius SS-77 Aurora Light Therapy System for $85 USD.
Thermotex™ and the other infrared heating systems have one advantage to the infrared light therapy units on the market - durability. Once those LED lights die, that's it. Game over, simply because I haven't found any replacement lights. Our power adapter also burned out - after the warranty expired. On the flipside, the advantage to infrared light therapy products is that they are cheaper.
Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System - The Final Verdict
Although the unit is the second most expensive that I've come across, I am satisfied with the Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System. The construction is solid, from the stitching of the casing to the thick Velcro straps. The heating plates are sturdy too.
It does work, if Maestro's increased mobility after each use is any indication. I too, have noticed less tension in my shoulders and back. The Thermotex™ Personal Therapy System is effective in providing temporary relief for chronic pain. One final bonus - no skin burns, which is always a factor when using "normal" heating pads.