Hot Fomentation is very commonly used word when you visit to a doctor for musculoskeletal problems. It is part of primary treatment plan in case of injuries related to soft tissue that includes muscles ,ligaments, tendons etc. In this section we l discuss the meaning, Correct application time, Different Techniques of application ,benefits and adverse effects of heating.
Hot Fomentation is the process of making the part of body warm or in other words we can say it’s the process of increasing temperature of local area by application of heat from outside the body to get relief from pain and stiffness. Increasing the temperature lead to vasodilatation i.e. widening of blood vessels that lead to increased blood flow in the target area. This will help in flushing of dead , worn cells and increased availability of nutrients required for healing. Heating can be done by Moist heat and Dry heat. There are different methods of application of both of them.
Moist Heating can be done by :
Paraffin Wax baths.
Hydro collator Packs.
Dry Heating Application can be done by:
Electric Heating Pads.
Shot Wave Diathermy.
Hot Water Bottles.
Chemical Heating Pads.
Other Heating Lamps.
Dry heat products are popular because they heat up quickly, can be less of a mess, and the heat tends to longer than moist heat packs. But moist heat is preferred over dry heat because dry heat dehydrate the skin and it can become dry and irritable. On the other hand Moist heat tends to penetrate deep and helps to get better response from temperature receptors. There is no dryness and irritation on the skin. Some of the dry heating techniques like Short Wave Diathermy provides deep penetration and lesser skin dryness.
Can we use Heating in any case of pain and stiffness?
Answer is No, heating is not the choice for every pain and stiffness. In some cases it can worsen the condition. In Acute injuries it is not advisable to give heating in first 3 to 5 days . In many other conditions Heating is contraindicated ,like
Area affected by diabetic neuropathy.
Red or inflamed skin.
Fresh muscle and ligament injuries.
What is Adequate time for heating Session?
It can vary according to area and size of target area. In general Heating produces maximum Vasodilatation in 20 to 30 minutes. So a session of 15 to 35 minutes can provide required effects of heating therapy. Exceeding Heating session of 45 minutes can cause congestion in tissue and vasoconstriction also known as Rebound Phenomenon. This will give negative effects and can worsen the condition. Moreover Longer heating sessions cause skin damage and increased irritation.
Physiotherapist in Chandigarh or while having session of home physiotherapy in Chandigarh you can ask for proper hot fomentation session.