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 whole 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, so it’s what I have on hand. 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 gardening 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 even 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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