As a patient, you take on a critical role in making decisions on how you chose to be treated. In fact, studies assert that the most hands-on patients and those who ask many questions tend to have increased satisfaction with the healthcare they receive.
If you’re already here, chances are you’re a hands-on patient. Let’s discuss a few ways you can improve your in-patient or out-patient treatment with HEAT! Please note that only your physician can make medical diagnoses and recommendations for your care.
First, if you’re unfamiliar with heat treatments, you may want to check out the Medical Encyclopedia provided by Answers.com. Heated products, such as blankets, are used to heat the body to treat different conditions to increase the extensibility of soft tissues, remove toxins from cells, enhance blood flow, increase function of the tissue cells, encourage muscle relaxation, and help relieve pain. This type of therapy is also referred to as “superficial heat therapy.”
Before going into surgery your doctor will discuss the risks associated. Doctors and surgeons spend a lot of time researching and perfecting each piece of patient care to provide you with the best possible outcomes. If you’re interested on how heat therapies affect surgery, check out "Effects of comfort warming on preoperative patients".
Between multiple medication options and manipulation treatments, pain management can be complicated. Though every situation is very different, there are some in which heat therapy can alleviate pain and speed up recovery. In fact, many cancer, renal failure, and diabetic patients use heat to help manage pains associated with their conditions on a daily basis. For more on this topic, visit "Bonica's Management of Pain" book on Google.
In hypothermia, the best thing you can do is to warm the person affected. This condition is rarely planned for and critical to treat quickly. Depending on your area (for example at a ski resort or other remote location), it's wise to plan for any possible scenario.“In passive warming systems, insulation measures like warming blankets, socks, head covering and other apparel, as well as an increase in ambient temperature are used to keep the peripheral tissue closer to target temperatures, which can significantly reduce the impact of vasodilation and redistribution hypothermia that occurs.”
Heat therapies have a lot of different applications. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these articles on heat in healthcare.