Heat and cold are commonly used at home and in the clinic to treat symptoms of discomfort and injury. In this lesson, we will learn more about the physiological effects of heat and cold in the treatment of soft tissue injuries

Lesson Objectives

  1. Describe five physical mechanisms of heat exchange (conduction, convection, radiation, conversion, evaporation)
  2. Describe factors which influence the physiological effects of heat
  3. Correlate a therapeutic heat intervention to a specific impairment in a case simulation
  4. Describe the expected goals and outcomes for applying heat and cold
  5. Describe how heat influences exercise performance
  6. Describe signs and symptoms that should not be treated with heat/cold and communicate findings to the supervising physical therapist
  7. Recognize precautions for applying heat and cold
  8. Select the most appropriate superficial heating agent for a given case scenario
  9. Select proper procedures for safe and effective application of a superficial heating agent (hydrocollator packs, paraffin, fluidotherapy, short wave diathermy)
  10. Identify the role of the PTA during application of physical therapy interventions covered in this course
  11. Discuss how the patient's age and medical status may influence selection and outcome of treatments with heat and cold.
  12. Describe essential components of documentation (type, method, area, patient position, response to treatment)