You may not have heard the words “heat therapy” before, but you surely have seen it in action. Hot baths, hot water bottles, heating pads, Jacuzzis—all of these are examples of heat therapy that have been used for centuries to combat backaches, muscle and joint pain.
Heat is effective. It penetrates deep, warming the muscle right where it hurts—to relax, soothe and unlock tight muscles.
Here’s how it works:
- When heat is applied to your skin, it actually reduces the sensation of pain. Heat stimulates thermo receptors, which block your body’s pain transmitters from sending pain signals to your brain
- Heat increases circulation to the injured or sore area, which means more oxygen and nutrients are sent to the damaged tissue
- Heat helps stretch soft tissues, relaxing muscles, which promotes flexibility and decreases stiffness
It once was believed that 20 minutes of high-level heat followed by 20 minutes of no heat was the most effective treatment for sore muscles. However, clinical studies show the use of continuous low-level heat therapy, like that found in ThermaCare® HeatWraps, is effective for pain management.
For more information on the benefits of heat therapy, visit:
American Pain Society: http://www.ampainsoc.org/
American Pharmacists Association: http://www.pharmacist.com