Importance of heat therapy in the treatment of pain in the daily clinical practice

Hotfiel T, Fanlo-Mazas P, Malo-Urries M, Paulino E, Sequeira de Medeiros L, Blondett M, Vetrano M, Freiwald J (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 38

Pages Range: 263-268

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2024.01.015


Background: Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain includes a wide variety of causes and conditions. Despite the heterogeneity of MSK pain, it is possible to identify some common clinical features and treatments. Heat therapy (HT) is one of the most common and could be a suitable non-pharmacological approach. Objective: To obtain a European overview on the use of non-pharmacological approaches and the role of heat therapy in the treatment of MSK pain. Methods: Through a two-cycle Delphi-like method, an international board of experts reached a consensus on 13 questions for a survey to healthcare professionals who provide direct patient care. Between November 2021 and January 2022, the resulting web survey was distributed to professionals with the collaboration of ten European scientific societies and associations. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed on collected data. Results: Two hundred eighty-two answers were validated. Most of the respondents had extensive professional experience. Participants were widely distributed throughout Europe. HT is administered to about 50% of patients, with a higher percentage administered to those affected by low back pain (92%) and neck pain (84%). The choice of exogenous HT is based on both personal clinical experience and scientific evidence. HT is primarily chosen due to its relaxation effect, high safety profile and enhancement of tissue perfusion. The use of HT is recommended by 86.5% of respondents. Conclusion: Experts indicate that exogenous HT represents a valid therapeutic choice and is widely used in Europe. Patients should be informed about the use of heat therapy as a valuable self-management therapy option.

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Hotfiel, T., Fanlo-Mazas, P., Malo-Urries, M., Paulino, E., Sequeira de Medeiros, L., Blondett, M.,... Freiwald, J. (2024). Importance of heat therapy in the treatment of pain in the daily clinical practice. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 38, 263-268.


Hotfiel, Thilo, et al. "Importance of heat therapy in the treatment of pain in the daily clinical practice." Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 38 (2024): 263-268.

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