Inflammation means heat. It also means pain and restricted movement. Rheumatoid arthritis has taught me to listen to what my body needs.
Sometimes, I'll find that instead of ice, it's heat that feels better.
My mom made me a number of different-sized oat-filled packs which I heat up in the microwave. Since there is a lot of moisture in the packs because of our proximity to the ocean, I usually zap it for three minutes. Then, I test it before I use it. When I lived in central and northern Canada, I would only put the pack in the microwave for two minutes.
The long, skinny pack works well for a stiff neck and the large, rectangular one is great for the back.
You can also make heat packs using un-popped popcorn. If you don't have an oat pack, check the instructions on your gel pack. Many of them can be served up cold or hot!