Heat Therapy

Several thousand years ago it was recognized that hot baths were
therapeutic. Hot baths, hot packs, electric heating pads, and
occasionally hot paraffin applied to the skin heat the body by
conduction. Conductive heating is used in treating conditions such as
arthritis, neuritis, sprains and strains, contusions, sinusitis and back
pain. Radiant heat is also used for surface heating of the body.

When an alternating electric current passes through the body, various
effects such as heating and electric shock take place. The amount of
heat that can be transferred to the body by electrical diathermy
increases as the frequency of the current increases. Short waves
diathermy uses electromagnet waves in the radar range.

Heat from diathermy penetrates deeper into the body than radiant and
conductive heat. Short wave diathermy heats the deep tissues of the
body. It has been used in relieving muscle spasms, degenerative joint
disease, and nursing and as a deep nearing agent hot joint.

Ultrasonic waves are also used for deep heating of body tissue.
Ultrasonic heating has been found useful in relieving the tightness and
scarring that often occur in joint disease. It greatly aids joints that have
limited motion. Heat therapy may be beneficial in the treatment of
cancer when it is combined with radiation therapy. The tumor is heated
by diathermy to about 420C for 20 for 30 minutes and the radiation
treatment is given after the heat treatment.
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