It is a known fact that pain can be triggered by various causes such as injuries, muscle spasm, arthritis, trauma or even certain diseases. Even sports-related injuries can cause injuries that would require moist heat for pain relief. There are different modes of treatment for pain such as over-the-counter medications. The best way to promote the healing process and relieve pain without any side effects is to apply moist heat on the affected area as the initial first aid care.
When applying moist heat as a first aid measure, you can utilize a washcloth or towel, hot water bottle or a moist heating pad. The washcloth or towel must be immersed in warm water and squeeze out the excess water. Depending on your choice, you can warm the wet cloth or towel in the microwave for a few seconds. Just be careful not to overheat since there is a chance that the skin will get burned. In some cases, a heat lamp is preferred. All you have to do is to wet a washcloth or towel and place it over the injury and allow the heat lamp to penetrate the cloth. Take note that the heat will help the moisture from the wet cloth to seep into the tissue to promote healing and provide relief from pain. Be careful when using heat lamps since they can produce high heat that can cause burning.
When is the best time to use moist heat?
Moist heat is mainly used for chronic and old injuries. It will help loosen and relax sore muscles, ligaments and tendons. Additionally, it will also boost the flow of blood to promote the natural healing process of the body. Nevertheless, too much heat during the initial phase of an injury is not beneficial since it will even aggravate the problem. Once heat is utilized as directed, it can help relieve pain by eliminating the stiffness and soreness on the affected body part. For injuries such as a pulled muscle or sprain, it is best to use ice first. This will help with the initial swelling and inflammation. Avoid using moist heat right away especially during the initial days after the injury since it will increase the flow of blood, thus aggravating the inflammation and swelling.
How to use moist heat
When it comes to injuries, moist heat must be used in short periods at a time. You can apply the moist heat for 15-20 minutes then remove it for about an hour then reapply again over the affected area. Do not leave the heat on the affected area for extended periods and the individual must not sleep with heat over the injury. Take note that extended periods with heat will increase the chances of burning the skin while at the same time aggravating the injury.