PAIN specialists and sports medicine experts routinely prescribe moist heat for pain-relief. In order to maximize the therapeutic benefits of heat therapy, it is essential to maintain the heat at a proper temperature.
Exposure to very hot temperatures can cause damage to the skin and the tissues. Therefore, an optimally warm temperature is considered to be ideal for relieving pain. Adding moisture to the heat source allows the heat to reach deeper into the joints and muscles at lower temperatures, and at a faster rate. This is because water has a higher heat capacity than air, and it absorbs and transfers the heat more efficiently. It has been found that moist heat penetrates 27 times deeper than dry heat.
When moist heat is applied adequately, it dilates the blood vessels in the pain-affected area and improves blood circulation.
This nourishes the tissues with oxygen and essential nutrients and promotes quicker healing.
Conditions for which moist heat therapy is useful
Due to its antispasmodic properties, moist heat therapy is considered to be widely effective in relaxing joint stiffness and muscle tensions. A study conducted by PGI’s National Institute of Nursing Education suggested that the application of moist heat on knee joint as home-based management could reduce the dependency on pain killers, besides providing the elderly population a healthy lifestyle. Moist heat is particularly useful in providing symptomatic pain-relief from arthritis, knee joint pain, back pain, frozen shoulder, and sports injuries like Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow. When moist heat is applied just before exercise, it increases the elasticity of the connective tissues, leading to improved range of motion. The optimal temperature for the application of moist heat therapy is 52oC. Depending upon specific patient needs, heat therapy can be applied within a range of 48oC to 60oC. 15-20 minute sessions of heat therapy can be applied 3-4 times a day to relieve pain effectively.
Modern alternatives for moist heat therapy
Inspite of its many therapeutic benefits, the application of moist heat has been a cumbersome process. Hyderabad based Dhama Innovations, has launched a unique product range called GO> Pain Relief which allows moist heat to be administered effortlessly at the touch of a button. Dr. Palinasamy Vijayanand, Director, Axon Pain Management Centre, says, “Well designed and effective, the GO> moist-heat therapy system developed by young Indian innovators is a cutting-edge product to manage muscle pain and stiffness. It is an important tool in our armamentarium in the battle against pain.”
GO> Pain Relief can be experienced at – Dhama Innovations Pvt. Ltd.,
Jubilee Hills - 8885550635; www.dhamainnovations.com
M/s. S.S. Physiotherapy Centre, Chikkadpally – 9701499333.