Thermotherapy (Heat Therapy or Therapeutic Heat) is a therapeutic technique that utilizes heat to promote healing and alleviate discomfort.

Applying heat to a sore area increases tissue temperature and can aid in healing. Heat therapy is mainly used to help manage pain, increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area, make your muscles and other soft tissues more flexible, and speed up the healing process.


There are two types of Therapeutic heating modalities –

  1. Superficial heating modalities; and
  2. Deep heating modalities.

Superficial Heating modalities

Deep Heating Modalities

Paraffin Wax Therapy (PWB)

Short Wave Diathermy (SWD)

Moist Heat (Hydrocollator Pack)

Microwave Diathermy (MWD)

Contrast Bath

Ultrasound Therapy (UST)


Infrared Radiation (IRR)

Whirlpool Bath

Ultra-violet Radiation (UVR)

Electrical heating pad

LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation)


At ASPIRE we use Moist heat pack, ultrasound therapy, and LASER as heat therapy.

  1. Moist heat therapy in the form of moist heat pack are used to soften the tissues and provide relieve from pain. It contains light weight silica which helps to penetrate the skin faster and deeper whereas,
  2. Ultrasound therapy is a noninvasive treatment in which sound waves are used to penetrate soft tissues, increasing blood flow. This can help relieve pain, improve circulation, and promote tissue healing,
  3. LASER Unlike most light sources, light from a laser (which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is tuned to specific wavelengths.This also help in relieving pain and inflammation


  1. Vasodilation - Heat causes Vasodilation and thus an increase in the rate of blood flow. With heating the skin surface erythema or redness is produced due to vasodilation.
  2. Viscosity  - The resistance to flow in a blood vessel depends directly on the viscosity of the fluid and inversely on the radius of the vessels.
  3. Increased nerve stimulation - Increased temperature changes nerve conduction velocity and firing rate. Nerve conduction velocity has been reported to increase by approximately 2 meter/sec for every 1°C increase in temperature.
  4. Decrease pain sensation - Heat causes more blood to flow into the area. When blood flow increases to an area, it brings along oxygen and nutrients that can help to speed healing and relax muscles, which can decrease pain sensation.


  1. Encouragement of healing
  2. Relief of pain
  3. Reduction of muscle spasms
  4. Sedative effect
  5. Increase in range of joint motion
  6. Reduction of edema in extremities


  1. Due to heat there is increased capillary permeability and increased capillary dilation causes erythema or redness.
  2. The skin temperature over 45°C causes tissue damage. further rise in temperature will lead to denaturation and death of cells and tissues.
  3. The dosage of heat treatment can only be guided by the feeling of warmth on the part of the patient.
  4. No patient with oedema should be treated with any heat modality until the reason for the oedema is determined.