Heat Therapy

Basic heat therapy, or thermotherapy can involve the use of a hot water bottle, pads that can be heated in a microwave, or a warm bath.

Heat Therapy

Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, promote blood flow, and help sore and tightened muscles relax.

Improved circulation can help eliminate the buildup of lactic acid waste occurs after some types of exercise. Heat is also psychologically reassuring, which can enhance its analgesic properties.

Heat therapy is usually more effective than cold at treating chronic muscle pain or sore joints caused by arthritis.

Types of Heat Therapy

Types of heat therapy include:

Heat packs can be dry or moist. Dry heat can be applied for up to 8 hours, while moist heat can be applied for 2 hours. Moist heat is believed to act more quickly. Heat should normally be applied to the area for 20 minutes, up to three times a day, unless otherwise indicated. Single-use wraps, dry wraps, and patches can sometimes be used continuously for up to 8 hours.

What is Heat Useful for?

Heat is useful for relieving:

A cold mask or wrap around the forehead may help reduce the pain of a migraine. 

For osteoarthritis, patients are advised to use an ice massage or apply a cold pad 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.

When not to Use Heat

Heat is not suitable for all injury types. Any injury that is already hot will not benefit from further warming. These include infections, burns, or fresh injuries.

Heat should not be used if:

Alternating Cold and Heat:

When cold is applied to the body, the blood vessels contract, vasoconstriction occurs. This means that circulation is reduced, and pain decreases.

Removing the cold causes vasodilation, as the veins expand to overcompensate.

As the blood vessels expand, circulation improves, and the incoming flow of blood brings nutrients to help the injured tissues heal.

Alternating heat and cold can be useful for:

osteoarthritis

exercise-induced injury or DOMS

Contrast water therapy (CWT) uses both heat and cold to treat pain. Studies show that it is more effective at reducing EIMD and preventing DOMS than doing nothing.

Tips:

Heat should not be used on a new injury, an open wound, or if the person is already overheated. The temperature should be comfortable. It should not burn.

Ice should not be used if a person is already cold. Applying ice to tense or stiff muscles in the back or neck may make the pain worse.

Heat and cold treatment may not be suitable for people with diabetic neuropathy or another condition that reduces sensations of hot or cold, such as Raynaud’s syndrome, or if they are very young or old, or have cognitive or communication difficulties.

Direct Billing

We offer direct billing service. Please contact our office for more details.

Shopping Basket
20% OFF*
on Massage Therapy
*only at Mcknight Location