About Heat Therapy
What is heat therapy?
Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy or hot compress, is the use of heat in therapy, such as for pain relief and health. Heat therapy works by improving circulation and blood flow to a particular area due to increased temperature. It can take the form of a hot cloth, hot water bottle, heating pad and others.
Benefit of heat therapy
Heat therapy can make healing faster by promoting blood circulation and relaxing the muscles. People with chronic pain such as arthritis can benefit from applying heat on the affected area. Heat dilates the veins which in results loosen the knotted veins and stiff muscles. As the tension is removed, the blood flow also improves in the inflamed or painful area. This leads to better flow of nutrients and oxygen which the body needs to recuperate and heal damaged tissues.
How to apply heat therapy？
Heat therapy can be divided into moist heat and dry heat. Moist heat can be a full body or regional application that uses hot water or steam, which requires less time and used less than 2 hours. Sauna, steamed towels, hot bath, hot tub and hot shower are most common ways of moist heat. If you want to apply dry heat, you can choose hot packs, hot gels, wraps, heating pad, infrared sauna and massage chairs.
When not to use
Heat therapy is good for chronic pain, but there are certain cases like bruised or swollen area where heat therapy should not be used. Heat therapy also shouldn’t be applied to an area with an open wound. If you also have heart disease or other diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc, you should ask your doctor before using heat therapy to avoid risk of any injury.