The use of heat to treat injuries and accelerate recovery. The heat may be applied superficially or directed to deep tissues. Superficial heat induces feelings of relaxation and comfort. Other therapeutic properties of heat (deep and superficial) include increasing blood flow through damaged tissue, increasing metabolism, and increasing the threshold of sensory nerve endings (therefore, decreasing pain). Heat treatment should not be used immediately after injury, particularly if there is any bleeding. See also diathermy.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.