Heat therapy is an easy, natural and non invasive way to manage pain. It works by applying various types of warmth to the affected painful area. This works because the application of heat causes blood vessels to expand which allows in more oxygen and proteins, which promote healing. Heat also helps to stimulate and relax tight muscles, and when used over a period of time allows the tendons to bend and flex therefore providing increased mobility.
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Another benefit of heat is that the application of warmth on a tender region, helps to block the body's pain receptors while the new sensation of heat takes over.
Some medical conditions can be by greatly aggravated by cold weather and sufferers may benefit from this type of pain management. My husband battles with arthritis and osteophytes, and has had many ill side effects to prescription medication. He has found heat therapy to be quite useful in helping relieve some of the pain. Heat therapy is also useful for alleviating muscular aches and back pain.
Here are 3 effective ways you can use heat therapy.
1. Warm up the painful area
This can be done easily by using a wheat pack which can be warmed up in the microwave, or a hot water bottle.
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2. Take a warm bath
Try relaxing in a warm bath with some Epsom salts or essential oils to help to relax any painful muscles. Epsom salts contain natural anti inflammatory properties and magnesium which aids in muscle repair.
3. Apply a hot topical analgesic
Creams such as Deep Heat, Dencorub or Tiger Balm all contain ingredients to warm up the area and provide relief. These are perfect to use when you are traveling and more practical than carrying around a wheat bag.