Hyperthermia: a physical therapy

Hyperthermia is a physical therapy that uses higher temperatures, which is the deep heating of body tissue for relaxation or treatment of an illness. This techniques brings local tissues to quite high temperature to provide therapeutic effect, causing the surrounding areas not to undergo temperature variations. In sports orthopedics, many therapies are based on the effect of heat, although this can be countered in the common application of ice. Here more information on symptoms of hyperthermia

It is therefore essential to understand the action of temperature in the event of an accident. The cold serves in the acute phase to block the traumatic process while heat is used in the chronic phase to increase blood circulation and promote recovery time.

If an Achilles tendon is injured for a workout or strained, it is reasonable to treat it with ice only if you adopt a next discharge strategy. It is totally wrong to treat a chest tenderness with ice for chances of continuing to train. The momentary benefit (blocking the inflammatory process subsequent to the exercise) is certainly little account of the fact that the repair process also stops; in essence, the situation with ice cannot improve if no other action is associated with it.

Lehmann quantified the amount of hyperthermia (increase in the amount of blood in a tissue) as a function of local temperature rise, highlighting the importance of working between 41 ° and 45 ° C. In fact, the Lehmann curve shows saturation above 45 ° C, noting that for beneficial effect it is enough to overcome that temperature without causing burns.

The main problem is that the temperature does not refer only to the superficial layers, but to the internal as well. For conduction or convection, the heat is not transmitted to the inner layers marginally: if you use a warm cloth at 60 ° C, two or three inches under the skin, the temperature will rise to a maximum for a couple of degrees. So many machines have been developed to provide energy to the inner tissues so that they are easily converted into heat. Obviously, the contour problems (such as avoiding the burning of the superficial layers) have been resolved and today there are interesting instrumentation in the market.

Generally there is a heat source consisting of a suitable frequency electromagnetic wave generator, a thermoregulatory source for skin cooling, an emitter capable of transferring both types of energy and a temperature control system. The most sophisticated devices can control many of the seating parameters, making the basic skill and expertise of the operator.

The Fields of Application of Hyperthermia

The fields of application of Hyperthermia are very varied and related to muscle pathologies (contractures, elongations, myositis, etc.), tendinis (peritendinitis, tendinitis, tenosynovitis, tendinosis and insertion tendinopathies), osteo-cartilage (periostitis, distortion). The underlying principle of hyperthermia is quite valid, but in the beginning there is also the limitation of therapy: it can only speed up repairing processes.

This is generally a soft therapy in the sense that it cannot do miracles. If in some cases, the efficacy factor reaches 50% in others but if it does not exceed 10-15%, it is totally null. Before using it, it is therefore necessary to define the pathology precisely, especially if it is reversible.

Immediate and indiscriminate application risks only slowing down the recovery time, which is likely to confuse the situation. However, it can generally be among the therapies suggested by the orthopedist after an appropriate period.

An important warning: since it is based on the principle of speeding up the repairing process, it seems completely out of place to side the hyperthermia to a resumption of activity that would outweigh the benefits of the therapy, risking to extend the time to infinity.

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