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Everything to know about heat therapy

A pulled muscle is a common event for people. The people that are engaged in heavy activities are more likely to get attacked by inflammation, pulled muscles, and muscle stiffness. There are several methods used for curing these events. You can use cold and hold pads or treat these injuries or conditions.

Heat and cold therapy are both used for the healing of injuries. A lot of people are unaware of the occasions when they have to use cold and heat therapies. The general rule of thumb implies the use of ice therapy for pain and acute injuries, including swelling and inflammation, whereas heat therapy for stiffness and muscle pain.

Working on heat therapy

Heat therapy is effective against stiffness and muscle pain. This works by improving blood flow and circulation to an area. This is caused by an increased temperature. An increase in temperature can cause a soothing effect. Moreover, it causes improved muscle flexibility. Heat therapy is effective as it soothes the muscles and heals injuries.

Types of heat therapy

You might be aware of the types of heat therapy that are used to heal injuries. There are two types of head injuries that are used to heal injuries and wounds. These therapies include moist heat and dry heat. The main goal of both heat therapies is to cause a warming effect. The temperature is warm, not hot. 

  • Dry heat is also known as conducted heat therapy. The source of heating is saunas, dry heating packs, and heating pads. Dry heat therapy is easy to apply. 
  • Moist heat is also known as convection heat. This therapy includes hot baths, moist heating packs, and steamed towels. You can have better results by applying moist heat. The application time is lesser as compared to dry heat. 

You need to choose whole, local, or regional body treatment when applying different heat therapies. Local heat therapy is effective for small affected areas such as one stiffened muscle. Local injuries are treated by using small heated gel packs or water bottles.

Regional heat therapy is used when the injury has spread. Regional heat therapy methods treat widespread injuries. The results can be achieved by using large heating pads, steamed towels, and heat wraps.

When should you not use heat therapy?

Heat therapy is effective against injuries and muscle soreness. However, there are some exceptions when you should not use heat therapies. 

  • When you are not sure whether the affected area is swollen or bruised, you should not use heat therapy. Cold therapy is a better solution in this case.
  • Heat therapy is not used on an affected area with an open wound. 
  • In some cases, heat therapy can increase the risks of complications or burns. So people should not use heat therapies in these conditions. These situations include multiple sclerosis, deep vein thrombosis, vascular diseases, dermatitis, and diabetes. 
  • You need to have a proper consultation before starting heat therapy. If you have hypertension or heart disease, you need to consult with a health physician before using. Moreover, pregnant women should ask the doctor before using saunas or hot baths. 

How to apply heat therapy?

Heat therapy requires time. If you have a good time giving to your wounds, you can go for heat therapy. Moreover, 20 minutes of heat therapy can reduce and relieve muscle stiffness. Severe pains require long therapy sessions, such as hot baths for 30-40 minutes.

You need to apply heat to treat chronic pain and achy muscles. Heat therapy is the opposite of cold therapy. Heat therapy stimulates the blood circulation on the injured site. The oxygen-rich blood brings nutrients to the injured area, promoting the healing process. 

Heat therapy is also known as thermotherapy. This therapy is helpful in managing discomfort and pain. It helps to reduce muscle soreness and sore joints. 

Heat therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce soreness, muscle stiffness, and joint stiffness. People consider heat therapy an effective way to reduce spasms and pain. However, they should use this therapy under proper recommendations from doctors.

Effective ways to use heat therapy 

After you have known the basics of heat therapy, you might be interested in knowing the events when you can use heat therapy. Below mentioned are some effective ways in which you can use heat therapy. So let us get started.

  • You can use heat therapy after a workout session. Heat therapy after a workout can help reduce soreness. It soothes muscles. After a workout, the muscles feel tight, sore, and tired. Heat therapy can help reduce soreness.
  • Spasm is common among people. A spasm is a sudden involuntary contraction of muscles. Spasms are considered a warning to stop stress in a certain part of the body. These contractions can be quite painful for a person. An effective and instant way to reduce spasms is by the use of heat therapy. 
  • Heat therapy is also effective against muscle stiffness and lower back pain. A lot of people have been suffering from lower back stiffness and chronic pain. Heat therapy is an effective and affordable way to manage the symptoms of muscle stiffness. Heat therapy is effective as it helps to deliver nutrients to a certain part of the body.
  • Sciatica pain is the most uncomfortable and painful event for a person. Sciatica nerve pain makes a person feel needles, pins, and electric shocks in their legs or buttocks. Sometimes the pain travels from buttocks to calf. Heat therapy can help get rid of and heal sciatica pain. 
  • Heat therapy is quite effective in the management of chronic arthritis pain. Excessive arthritis can result in painful areas. So you can apply heat therapy at home. 

The final words

These are the most significant things that you should know about heat therapy. These points show that heat therapy is effective against chronic pain. Although heat therapy is effective, you should start heat therapy with a proper recommendation from your physician or doctor.

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