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How do Chiropractors use heat therapy in conjunction with rehabilitation?

We usually think that chiropractic treatments tend to gravitate towards, massage, manual manipulations, and spinal adjustments. These are the most commonly associated treatments but there are a few other supplementary treatment options that can be used in conjunction with these therapies.

heat therapy for neck

 

Chiropractic care is one of the most widely known forms of alternative medicine. All treatments from chiropractic care are completely natural and non-invasive. They are a virtually risk and pain-free when performed by a licensed and trained chiropractic physician.

Depending on a patient’s specific condition and medical history, the chiropractor may opt to incorporate the use of physical agents, ice or heat into the rehab or fitness program. This is concomitant to their traditional treatment. Heat therapy comes in many forms and has been used for thousands of years to help heal ailments from the common cold to muscle strains. Some use moist hot packs while others use infrared lamps. It is a pain-free treatment used to enhance blood flow, speed up recovery time and an ideal way to warm the tissue prior to treatment. Heat is known to improve mobility while reducing pain and soreness that may have been developed from exercise or sometime chronic pain.

To perform this type of therapy, a licensed doctor of chiropractic will start by using a heating pad, commercial heat packs, moist heat or even whirlpool heat therapy.

How heat therapy works on pain?

  • Heat therapy works by opening the blood vessels. The treated areas will make the blood vessels dilate.
  • The injured area may be experiencing inhibited healing due to decreased blood flow. Hence heat therapy might be prescribed to alleviate pain and advance healing.
  • It is mainly used to reduce long-lasting or chronic pain. Sore stiff muscles may relax and become more flexible by slight increases in temperature.
  • Heat therapy can also be continued at home which enhances an athletes or patients compliance.
  • The chiropractor may use heat therapy in addition to other treatments, including cold (like contrast baths), before exercise, and pre massage or manipulation.

Heating pad

  • The heating pad is the most common form of heat therapy.
  • It is a type of dry heat.
  • This can be easily used for home therapy. Patients should be careful in using the heating pad and avoid burning the skin.
  • Always use a protective buffer between the heat source and skin surface.
  • Patients can practice heat therapy as per their chiropractor’s instruction with proper intervals and recommended time frames.

Whirlpool Heat Treatment

  • A whirlpool treatment lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. It can also be used for heat therapy. Whirlpool treatments involve the patient’s muscles pushing back against the warm, agitated water which helps massage muscles. Some use water to strengthen muscles. The water actually provides one of the most natural forms of resistance!!
  • The temperature of the water should be no hotter than 102 degrees. Sensitivity to heat may cause dizziness or nausea that may indicate the need to exit the hot water.
  • Whirlpool therapy is a great complementary treatment to your chiropractic care to decrease healing time.
  • By keeping the injured region in the whirlpools it prevents patients from having to put weight on the injury. The weightless/buoyant environment increases comfort and safety.

If you are suffering from any chronic pain, don’t wait. Speak to our experts for more information. We provide treatments that positively enhance your experience and increase the possibility of a full, fast recovery.

To schedule an appointment give a call 212 529 5700