Heat is used to relieve muscle spasm, tension and areas of pain similar to how we would use laser therapy but heat can also be used pre-exercise or competition as a warm-up.
Heat leads to vasodilation, which in turn enables more oxygen and nutrients to reach the tissues, this increases metabolic activity and increased waste removal. The increased waste removal as well as altering action potentials in sensory nerves via the pain gate theory leads to a reduction in pain signal transmission and trigger points.
The pain gate theory states that the ‘gate’ or threshold for pain perception is overloaded by the heat signals so is unable to recognise and transmit pain signals.
Muscles are viscus and therefore when heat is applied the elasticity of the muscles is increased meaning that the length of the muscle is greater, therefore, preventing over-extension injury if applied before exercise or competition.
Heat therapy is available in all our vet physiotherapy sessions.