It can be inconvenient to have to visit a health practitioner everytime you experience a minor injury or small bounts of back pain. As such, a popular home remedy you can try out to treat your injury is heat therapy. Keep reading to find out more about heat therapy, when you can use it and how to perform it from home yourself!
What is heat therapy?
Heat therapy is a type of health treatment which improves your body’s blood circulation and flow to a particular area due to a local increase in temperature. Heat therapy can work to relax and soothe muscles, as well as heal damaged tissue.
When should you use heat therapy?
Heat therapy is most commonly used to treat muscle and joint stiffness, as well as stomach pain and lower back pain. It can also be helpful to relieve pain from cramps for women. Heat therapy is most often used to treat short-term pains such as sprains and strains.
Heat therapy can also be used after several treatment sessions of ice therapy, as it helps to activate and keep the muscles working. It may be helpful to switch to heat therapy after several days of ice therapy if your symptoms are not improving.
If you wake up with a stiff back or aches in certain areas of your body, heat therapy may help with warming up your muscles and joints, as well as increasing your flexibility and body’s mobility as well as functionality.
While it is certainly helpful to treat minor muscle and joint injuries and pains, heat therapy is not suited for acute injuries. Heat therapy should also not be used immediately after physical activity. Heat therapy is best for chronic conditions to help you relax and loosen your tissues so it will usually not numb you of your pain either.
How can you perform heat therapy at home?
Heat therapy is quite simple to perform at home. You can purchase a hot water bottle or even use a bag of uncooked rice. To make a hot pack out of uncooked rice, simply take an old bag (or anything that can be sealed such as a sick) and fill it up three-quarters with uncooked rice (or you can substitute this with corn barley or oatmeal).
You can then tie or sew your bag shut before heating it in a microwave for one or two minutes. To avoid accidentally overheating your heat pack and burning yourself, test your heat pack on the inside of your arm before applying it to your injured or affected body part.
When to visit a health practitioner?
If you have performed several sessions of heat therapy on your injury at home and have not been relieved of your symptoms or experienced recovery, it may be time to visit a health practitioner. For those who are looking to treat muscle and joint soreness, or are simply seeking experienced experts in heat therapy, visiting a chiropractor may be the solution to your problems!