Moist Therapy

Category Moist Therapy

What is Moist Therapy?

Moist Heat can reduce muscle spasms, reduce joint stiffness, and make soft tissue more flexible. Heat can be used to help loosen tight muscles and joints during a warm-up period before exercise. Moist heat also called superficial heat is a physical therapy modality used to control pain, speed healing, relax muscles, and increase range of motion. In moist heat treatment, a hot pack is placed on the tight or painful area and left there for about 10 or 15 minutes.


  • increase circulation 1.5-2x normal

  • increased metabolism ( contraindicated in 2-3 days post-injury )

  • increase inflammation, phagocytosis, wound healing

  • decreased pain ( analgesia ) not as effective as cryotherapy for acute pain

  • decreased muscles spasm

  • decreased tissue stiffness( fluids less viscous and collagen releases easier )

  • depth of the effect is not as great as with cold

  • vascular changes are confined to the skin

  • increase sensory nerve conduction

  • temperature is carried on A-delta fiber

  • analgesic effects both distal and proximal to area treated

Physiotherapy Moist Treatment

Any heating pads, whether they have water or gel inside, need a layer in between the source and your body to avoid burning the skin. You may see your physiotherapist using a hydrocollator, which heats pads in a thermostatically controlled water bath. The pads are put in covers before being placed on the injured area. Any source of moist heat should be monitored throughout to ensure the skin does not overheat. You shouldn’t use heat therapy when the injured area is bruised, swollen or the skin is broken or hot to the touch.

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