Heat therapy is similar to cold therapy as both are used to alleviate pain. Some treatment plans even use both heat and cold therapy together. In these situations, cold compression is used first after which heat therapy is applied. One form of heat therapy that is proven to be effective is moist heat therapy.
People tend to often find moist heat therapy to be more effective than standard dry heat therapy. This is because water transfers heat more quickly than air, which aids in the heat’s penetration into sore, achy muscles. Also, moist heat is less likely to cause skin dehydration, making it ideal for patients with preexisting dry or aging skin. There are several ways moist heat therapy can be applied. Some common forms of it include: hot baths, steamed towels, and moist heat packs.
Relief Pak® Moist Heat Packs are anatomically shaped to conform to the body. While some of the packs are designed for a specific body part, such as the neck, knee, or spine, others are rectangular shaped and can be used for any area of the body. The moist heat packs are reusable and should be stored in a plastic bag in the freezer when not in use. They can be heated up in water in a pan on the stove or in a moist heat pack heating unit. Similar to our ColdSpot™ products, Relief Pak® offers soothing relief from muscle and joint pain. However, unlike ColdSpot™, Relief Pak® keeps you warm and toasty during the cold winter weather.
For clinics to easily practice moist heat therapy, there is a line of Relief Pak® Heating Units available in a variety of sizes. Physical Therapy practices that lack a stove top and regularly perform moist heat therapy would greatly benefit from having a heating unit on hand. Heating units can efficiently heat packs up to 170° and retain that heat. When applied to a patient, the moist packs must be used either in a cover or a thick towel to act as a buffer between the pack and the skin.
To safely practice moist heat therapy, Relief Pak® offers covers that match the anatomical shapes of the moist heat packs. These covers come in two material types: all-terry cloth and foam-filled terry cloth. The all-terry covers are designed to conform easily to treatment areas. Foam-filled terry covers are the more economical option.
Moist heat therapy has been proven to relieve pain from chronic conditions such as arthritis and muscle discomfort, and stiffness. It is also a great solution for acute pain such as a headache. Use moist heat therapy stay warm this winter and prevent your muscles from freezing up. Please consult your doctor before the use of moist heat therapy.
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Article written by William Graves.