Injuries can take longer to heal than expected in many cases, and injuries can often cause unbearable pain. Long lasting pain can disrupt any patient’s daily routine, and even cause him or her to miss work or other important engagements. A chiropractor may include heat therapy in the treatment plan, along with other methods geared toward getting the patient back to a healthy physical state. Here are some of the most common types of therapy and options for chiropractic care to help individuals manage pain.
Heat therapy might be prescribed to alleviate pain and advance healing. Heat therapy is a great option because it can also be continued at home. Heat therapy is usually aimed at muscles and works by opening up the blood vessels. Decreased blood flow to the injured area may inhibit healing. It is important to cease any inflammation in the area for this therapy to assist healing. Heat is not recommended early on in injury treatment. The improved blood flow to the area may help the muscles relax. Range of movement may be less limited.
The most common form of heat therapy is a heating pad. A heating pad is a form of dry heat. This is a great option for home therapy. Patients should be sure to exercise caution with a heating pad to avoid burning the skin. A protective buffer is recommended between the heat source and skin surface. Patients should follow a chiropractor’s orders concerning limits and recommended time frames.
Moist heat is more effective for treating deep pain that affects the tissues. This method is often used in-office so the doctor can monitor treatment. Sweating may occur during treatment, however, heat levels should remain within a regulated comfort level. The heat will gradually increase over the treatment time. Moist heat is an effective method for a deep muscle treatment.
Whirlpool Heat Treatment
A whirlpool treatment can also be used for heat therapy. This option acts the same as the other heat options as far as increasing blood flow and range of movement. Whirlpool treatments, however, offer the option for resistance exercises. Using the muscles to push back against the water helps to strengthen the muscles. Practicing these exercises in the water keeps patients from having to put weight on the injury. The weightless environment increases comfort and safety.
This option is best used in an office setting as well. The treatment should last about 15 to 20 minutes. The water should be no hotter than 102 degrees and should not cause any discomfort. Sensitivity to heat expressed by dizziness or nausea may indicate the need to exit the hot water. Office professionals should be available to monitor the process. Care should be taken with the jets to avoid causing an electric shock. Be sure to enter the whirlpool while jets are already turned on and exit before they are turned off. Whirlpool therapy is a great addition to your chiropractic care to decrease healing time.
Chiropractic Care for Injuries
The final way to treat pain, and one of the most common recommended by chiropractors is regular chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic care, along with heat treatment, provides a more comprehensive approach to injury treatment. These treatments should positively enhance your experience, increasing the possibility of a full recovery.
For more information about treating pain with heat and chiropractic adjustments, please contact Horst Chiropractic today.