Moist Heat Therapy July 09, 2015 16:22

Heat has always been used in various forms for therapeutic use. The history of hot packs, sunlight, heated sand, and heated water were initially used as an effective means of therapy for ailments and pain. Early users of heat therapy also obtained heat form hot stones and coals, open fire, and irons. The earliest hot water containers consisted of hollow dried fruits and bladder or skin of animals. The first scientific inquiries into the use of thermotherapy were conducted in the early 19th century.

The application of heat relaxes muscles and increases the flow of blood to the treatment area. Enhanced local tissue metabolism and improved blood supply lowers the concentration of pain producing toxic metabolites, this combination offers relief from pain.

How often should hot packs be used?  The application of therapeutic heat should be used when motion is limited by stiffness. Thermotherapy is effective in controlling inflammation in sub-acute or chronic stages, for tissue healing, and to improve range of motion before physical activity and rehabilitation.