Solution For Sore Shoulders: Microwavable Rice Sock

I went to a fair that offered job advice, help with nutrition and health, free haircuts (by cosmetology students…that was interesting!), scalp massages and this: the microwavable rice sock. Oh, have I enjoyed making (and using) these!

This is really a simple project and after being out in the yard raking, digging, weeding etc: I got mine out and soothed my sore shoulders.

Today I am making one to send to my granny. She’s 87 years young this year and while her gardening years are behind her: the sore muscles are not.

My granny. A radiant beauty in her youth!

Still beautiful at 87!

She and I share the genetic gift of fibromyalgia. If you have ever wondered about this “cluster of symptoms” (they don’t consider it a disease because it doesn’t progress): it sucks. If you ever meet someone who has this and wonder why they are sitting by themselves with a sour look on their face: it isn’t because they are a grouch; it’s because it hurts…all over, all the time. Heat really helps mine, but it’s hard to use a heating pad on my shoulders. This is why I love this rice sock. It delivers heat for a long time with about a minute of time in the microwave. This is so easy to make but I wouldn’t have figured this out on my own. So here is the super simple, warm and comforting rice sock instructions:

Things you need:

A groovy looking knee high sock (Yes, I use that word!) My granny loves purple so that’s what I got.

2 cups uncooked rice. DO NOT USE INSTANT RICE: IT WILL CATCH ON FIRE IN YOUR MICROWAVE!!!! I’m using Thai jasmine rice because that is what we eat. Do not fill the sock completely. It needs to be pliable to lay correctly on your shoulders.


Optional: Scented oil. I’m using lavender. You don’t need much. Maybe two drops. If you use more you will want to hide this thing  somewhere until the scent dissipates. (This is experience talking.)


You need a glass or ceramic bowl to mix the rice and oil. The scent will stay in plastic.


A tube to keep the sock open and get the rice easily into the toe. You can use the a tube from a toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll (the paper towel roll will be easier to use.) I am using a tube from one of my kid’s toys.


Pull the sock up so the tube is down in the toe.


Scoop the rice up with a measuring cup with a lip. You can hold your hand around the tube top to act like a funnel. I wouldn’t suggest using an actual funnel unless it has a very large hole. The rice doesn’t move through them well.


Pull the sock off your tube.


Tie it towards the top.


You are done! Here’s mine (rainbow stripy sock!!!) and my granny’s. Image

Microwave your sock in 30 second intervals for about 1 minute total. If you get it too hot, just wait for it to cool a little. Drape it around your neck and know you have beaten some of the the spring fever pain you caused with overzealous yard work!

Make sure to celebrate your achievement! My four year old and I took a celebratory bounce on the trampoline!


As an update: My granny passed away in 2017 at the age of 90. She had a long and difficult life, but she was also extremely strong for having faced unending adversity. I always admired how she continued forward no matter what she had to endure. She was alive during the great depression and the dirty thirties. She lived through the dust storms that blew through Kansas and a shoot out with cattle rustlers. Her family had absolutely nothing during the depression. Out of her 8 children, 4 died in infancy and a fifth died in his 50’s. She lost her husband to a heart attack at 58. She remarried and divorced. She was plagued with rheumatoid arthritis, 4 individual hip replacements (because the first set was recalled years after her surgery), she had thyroid disease and fibromyalgia. She had an incredibly hard life. I am grateful my life has been nothing near as painful as my grandmother’s was. 90 years was quite an achievement, and she is very missed as the head of our family.

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45 thoughts on “Solution For Sore Shoulders: Microwavable Rice Sock

  1. I am having issues with my shoulder and a cramped muscle that got stressed from my lack of movement on my latest 12 hour cross country drive, (ok, that was a run-on sentence). I am making myself a sock tonight! Bet Granny will love hers, too!

  2. I use a bag with wheat kernals/grain inside. I just sew a long skinny rectangular bag out of an old pair of jeans. Once you put the kernals in you sew lines to make 2 to 4 dividers in it with equal amounts of kernals in each one. It distributes the weight evenly so it lays more comfortably on your body. I sew two long ties at the two ends that way you can tie it to your body. I tie it around my waste to sooth my lower back pain as well. I use it on my shoulders as well. That way I can walk around the house and do housework with it on. The first one I had was a gift from a familly member. She bought at a crafts fair. When the material finally wore out, I made my own. I have a larger one with out the ties, that I often sleep with. I just wrap a small hand towel around it, because it is a little two hot. It hold warmth for hours under the covers. I shift it all over my body until I fall asleep.

    The sock idea with rice is a version that I have never seen before. I like the idea especially when I didn’t have a sewing machine.

    You are right that your grandmother is Beautiful vibrabrant women.

  3. I think I’ve been waiting a decade for this simple, but super, idea. Love the addition of some essential oil. I’m off to get crafty! Hope your granny likes hers and gets some pain relief.

    1. Acupuncture is awesome! I get acupuncture as well! The demonstration socks they were using were men’s black dress socks or a man’s white tube sock. I do enough laundry that I knew I wanted something that didn’t remind me of sweaty guy feet! You can always just slip your white sock inside a prettier one and you won’t have to mess with the rice again. I’m glad you came by and commented!

  4. After being injured in a rear end while sitting in my parked car and spending a small fortune on thermal care heat pads, I want to thank you and your grandmother for this great solution..and the lavender scent is soothing as well!

  5. Great idea. I , too, am a gardener of a certain age! Thanks for the visit to my blog, and I hope you will return soon and often. Have a lovely day!

    1. That’s a way I’ve never used mine. Thanks for the idea! Next time my kids bring home a cold I’ll remember to whip out my rice sock! Thank you for coming by and commenting.

  6. Reblogged this on Copycate and commented:
    I love my corn-filled, microwavable cushion of comfort, so the cheapskate in me likes this hot sock idea. I wonder if it will smell like rice pudding–the corn one whiffs of popcorn when I heat it.

  7. I recently bought a corn-filled microwavable bag, and it smells of popcorn when I heat it. I will enjoy trying this one out–perhaps not when I am hungry!

  8. Love these! I have one that I use for my feet in bed! I suffer from incessant cold toes! 🙂
    I need to make another one. A vendor at a local farmer’s market who also makes these said she uses flax seeds vs rice as they last longer and don’t emit a burning smell towards the end of the sock’s lifespan.

    1. Great idea! I’ve never tried flax. I’ve had my sock for several years. I occasionally empty it into a bowl and add more essential oil. I haven’t smelled a burning scent yet. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

    1. I love mine too! I just used it the other day after digging dirt. Well, dirt is a kind word for what we have. It’s more like insanely heavy clay with huge chunks of rock! Thanks for coming by and commenting. I appreciate it!

    1. Thank you for coming by! The rice sock is awesome. I even heated one up on Halloween to keep me warm as we sat outside and gave out candy. I hope you get to make one. I’m always finding new ways to use mine.

      1. How long does the heat tend to last? It sounds like quite a while. I have something similar that I bought at the drugstore but it cools down fairly quickly.

      2. I wasn’t sure so I got it out and timed it. With 1 minute in the microwave I can still feel some warmth at 23 minutes. So I’d guess you would consistently get heat from it for 20-25 minutes. That’s pretty amazing for just a minute in the microwave!

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