Heat treatment is the therapeutic use of thermal agents which are applied to particular areas of the body following injury or to treat muscle pain and stiffness.
What is heat treatment?
Heat treatment involves localised, superficial heating of an area. This form of therapy is most commonly used on chronic injuries or on long-term problems in which areas of muscles have become tense and sore. This heating can be achieved using a heating pad, a hot pack, and a wet towel or hot water bottle.
Heat treatment can also come in different forms using dry heat therapy, moist heat therapy or infrared heat therapy.
What podiatry related conditions can heat therapy help with?
Heat treatment can be used in the treatment of the following conditions;
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis
- Arthritic pain
- Ankle stiffness
- Shin splints
How does heat therapy work?
Heat therapy works by causing vasodilation of blood vessels in the area on which it is applied. This results in an increase in blood flow. When the amount of blood flow to a region of the body increases, the amount of oxygen and nutrients carried within that blood also increases. These factors can help to speed up the rate of healing. Heat treatment can further work to relieve pain as the sensation of heat upon the skin can have an analgesic effect.
What are the benefits of heat treatment?
Treatment of podiatry related problems using heat therapy can be beneficial in a number of ways. They include the following;
- Helps to relieve the discomfort caused by muscle stiffness
- Is an effective form of pain relief
- Heat therapy doesn't require any surgical intervention
- Reduced muscle spasm
Similar treatments/services that could help
There are various other treatments available in the treatment of muscle pain and stiffness. They include;
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Orthotic intervention
- Footwear review
- Manipulation and mobilisation
- Parrifin wax bath
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