While ice therapy is used to reduce swelling, heat therapy is used to relax the muscles and increase circulation. Both kinds of therapy help reduce pain.
Heat therapy is often used in patients who have chronic or long-lasting pain. Heat therapy can involve many kinds
of methods, from simple heating pads, wraps, and warm gel packs, to sophisticated techniques, such as therapeutic ultrasound.
Back injuries can create tension and stiffness in the muscles and soft tissues of the lumbar region, or lower back. In many cases, your circulation may be impeded.
The tension in the muscles can sometimes escalate to spasms.
Dilates the blood vessels of the affected muscles, allowing them to relax and begin healing.
Helps lower discomfort by reducing the amount of pain signals going to the brain.
Increases the ability of your muscles to easily flex and stretch, thereby decreasing stiffness.
Heat therapy, as well as ice therapy, are normally parts of an overall chiropractic treatment plan and rarely accomplish maximum results without it.
Heat therapy is not used on swollen or bruised tissues, or in patients who have dermatitis, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, open wounds, and cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension.
Heat Therapy Instructions:
*Using an electric heat pad or microwavable pack (place in microwave according to product instructions), apply heat for 10 minutes. Use a towel or cloth to add layers between the hot pack and your skin to regulate heat intensity.
*Repeat every 2 hours
TO APPLY MOIST HEAT: Heat a moistened towel in the microwave for a short time (30sec-1min) and you should be able to hold it in your hand without it being too warm. Apply the towel to the affected area, but do not lay on the hot towel. Again, add layers of towels to regulate the intensity of the heat.