Health Tip: Using Heat Therapy

(HealthDay News) -- Heat therapy can ease pain and stiffness, muscle tightness and spasms.

The University of Michigan Health System explains the best uses for heat therapy:

  • Use heat to help loosen up stiff muscles and joints and make them more limber.

  • Do not use heat immediately after an injury or if there is swelling. Heat may worsen swelling by increasing blood flow to the area.

  • Apply moist heat, which tends to be more effective than dry heat.

  • Soak a towel in hot water, microwave a damp towel or use a commercial heat pack to provide moist heat. Apply it for about 20 minutes, or as long as your doctor recommends.

  • Soak in a hot tub or whirlpool bath.

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