Benefits of Hot Packs
The heat provided by the hot packs has several important benefits.
These may include:
Relaxes tight muscles causing tissues to relax.
Decreases pain caused by muscle tension or spasms.
Causes vasodilatation of the blood vessels which increases circulation to the area.
Increased circulation to your injured body part helps to bring in nutrients, oxygen, and cells that help to promote healing.
Who Benefits from Using Hot Packs?
Patients with certain conditions typically benefit from using hot packs in the physical therapy clinic. These conditions may include:
Chronic injury where increased blood flow is desired
After an injury, heat helps to increase tissue extensibility and improve the way your muscles move, so just about anyone can benefit from using heat and hot packs as part of a physical therapy program.
Who Should Avoid Using Hot Packs?
There are certain conditions where using moist heat and hot packs should be avoided.
These may include:
In areas of impaired or altered sensitivity (like having numbness or tingling)
In people with impaired mental capacity
Over open wounds
After acute injury
Over joint with acute hemarthrosis
In persons with multiple sclerosis who are sensitive to heat
If you have an injury and are considering using heat, you should check in with your doctor to ensure that using hot packs is as safe thing for you to do.
Our physical therapists can help determine if you should be using heat.
How Long Should Heat Be Used?
Heat and hot packs are often applied to your body for 10 to 15 minutes. Frequent checks should be made to ensure that you are not getting too hot and to avoid skin damage. If you are getting too warm, you must remove the hot pack from your body. Using heat multiple times a day is not recommended, as it may damage your skin.
Talk to your doctor today about the benefits of starting physical therapy or contact one of our four locations!