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Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy, is the application of heat to the body for pain relief and health. It can take the form of a hot cloth, hot water, ultrasound, heating pad, hydrocollator packs, whirlpool baths, cordless FIR heat therapy wrap, and many others. It can be beneficial to those with arthritis and stiff muscles and injuries to the deep tissue of the skin. Heat may be an effective self-care treatment for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.[1]

Psychological effectsEdit

Physical effectsEdit

Heat therapy is most commonly used for rehabilitation purposes. The therapeutic effects of heat include increasing the extensibility of collagen tissues; decreasing joint stiffness; reducing pain; relieving muscle spasms; reducing inflammation, edema, and aids in the postacute phase of healing; and increasing blood flow. The increased blood flow to the affected area provides proteins, nutrients, and oxygen for better healing. [2]

History Edit

Heat has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Many ancient civilizations worshipped figures of the sun, such as the Egyptians, who worshipped the sun god Ra.

Application Edit

Moist heat is more effective at warming tissues than dry heat because water transfers heat more quickly than air. This results in the perception that the tissue is heated more deeply, which increases the effect on muscles, joints, and soft tissue. Heat is typically applied by placing very warm, wet towels on the relevant body part.

The newest breed of heat therapy device such as "FIR Cordless Heat Therapy" such as the one developed by +Venture Heat combines the carbon fiber heater with cordless rechargeable Lithium battery and built into the specific body wrap (ie. shoulder wrap or back wrap) for a targeted heat therapy can be use as an alternative to the chemical or plugged-in heating pads.

Mechanism of action Edit

Heat therapy creates higher superficial tissue temperatures, which aids the healing process in some conditions. Heat applied superficially to the skin directly increases the temperature of the skin and the tissue immediately underneath the skin. Muscle temperature increases through a reflexive effect on circulation and through conduction.

Another use is the treatment of infection and cancers by the use of heat. Cancer cells and many bacteria have poor mechanisms for adapting to and resisting the physiological stresses of heat, and are more vulnerable to heat-induced death than normal cells.

In plantsEdit

Thermotherapy may also be used in vine propagation to get rid of viroids (particles smaller than viruses) which may affect the new vine.

See alsoEdit


  1. Thermotherapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis, from Cochrane Library
  2. Prentice, William E. Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training: a Competency Based Approach. New York. McGraw-Hill. 2008.
  • Israel, Beth. “Pain”. 2005. Date Assessed: 28 April 2009. [1]
  • "Deep Heat Treatment.." CRS - Adult Health Advisor (Jan. 2009): 1-1. Health Source - Consumer Edition. EBSCO. Kent Library, Cape Girardeau, MO. 30 Apr. 2009 [2]
  • Scott F. Nadler, DO, FACSM, Kurt Weingand, PhD, DVM, and Roger J. Kruse, MD. “The Physiologic Basis and Clinical Applications of Cryotherapy and Thermotherapy for the Pain Practitioner”. Pain Physician. 7 (2004): 395-399.
  • "FIR Cordless Heat Therapy" is registered trademark of "+Venture Heat" [3]vi:Nhiệt trị liệu

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