When you have a headache, your first thought may not be of heat – especially when hot and humid weather conditions are among your list of triggers. But you can use heat therapy, also known as thermotherapy, to get pain relief although it must be emphasized that heat should be applied in the proper manner. Otherwise, your headache symptoms can increase in intensity, duration and frequency.
You can also seek the medical opinion of Healthpointe doctors at any of their clinics, including the Anaheim clinic, which is conveniently located near Fullerton, Placentia, Villa Park, Buena Park, Cypress, Cerritos, and Garden Grove. Keep in mind that heat therapy should only be part of your overall treatment program for headaches, not the be-all and end-all.
Heat therapy for headaches usually uses either dry or moist heat. For faster and longer-lasting pain relief, doctors suggest using moist heat as it can quickly warm up the tissues of the body.
Heat benefits the body because of the nerve endings in the skin, which send signals to the brain. These nerve endings respond to changes in the skin’s surface temperature, such as when a heat pack is placed on it.
When heat is applied to the skin, it relaxes the muscles, increases blood flow, and reduces inflammation, all of which contributes to lower levels of pain. Studies have shown that increased blood flow also increases oxygen and nutrients to the body, thus, lessening painful symptoms.
Hot water should obviously not be applied directly on the skin due to the imminent hazard of moderate to serious burns. Instead, heat therapy is applied using a variety of products including:
- Heating pads, which can be dry or moist
- Heat lamps
- Heat wraps
- Warm showers or baths
- Heated cloths or towels
- Heated pool (Jacuzzi)
- Hot water bottle
Not all of these methods will provide pain relief for every patient. You have to determine which method works best in your case usually through trial and error. You should also avoid adopting heat therapy methods that may actually trigger your headache, such as saunas that have higher overall temperatures than warm showers or heating pads.
Be very careful, too, about using heat therapy when you have skin problems, heart disease, and diabetes, among others. Ask your doctor first about your suitability and the steps for heat therapy.
Come and visit the Healthpointe clinics, including the Colton clinic for more information about headache treatments. We also accept patients from the Rialto, Bloomington, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highgrove, and Grand Terrace areas.
Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Colton, which is conveniently located by Rialto, Bloomington, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highgrove, and Grand Terrace.. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, Healthpointe.net.