When healing soft tissue for patients, thermal therapy is the one of the most commonly used treatment method. Thermal therapy includes cold and hot treatment. However not ever patients are suitable to have the treatment. Both hot and cold therapy got different contraindication that therapists need to be aware of when applying treatments. In the following essay, the indications and contraindications for thermal therapy of soft tissue will be discussed.
Before introducing the contraindication, it is important to understand the healing process of soft tissue. As different stage of soft tissue during healing have different characteristics and thus contrasting contraindication will appear. Healing process of soft tissue is mainly classified into three stages. The first stage is the inflammatory phase. It will only last up to 72 hours. It involves a number of inflammatory responses, manifested by pain, swelling, redness, and increased temperature in the inflamed…show more content… A β fibre will be stimulated. As a result the pain gate will be activated and reduce the pain caused by soft tissue injuries.
Reducing muscle spasm is another indication for using heat therapy. By adapting heat, nerve will be stimulated and message will be sent to activate the Golgi tendon. The net result is an inhibition of the motor neuron and a reduced level of muscle excitation(Lehmann and de Lateur, 1982). Heat can warm the soft tissue and increase the extensibility of collagen, which procures the stretching of muscle. Thus muscle spasm and muscle spasticity will reduce.
Although applying heat to soft tissue is beneficial to the healing process, there are still contraindications that need to be aware of. If the patient got infection, it is not appropriate to have heat therapy. As this disease is thrive to moisture. Putting hot packs will create water droplets and cause the local infected area even