PainSci summary of Borrell 1980?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★☆☆☆2-star ratings are for studies with flaws, bias, and/or conflict of interest; published in lesser journals. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
This was a trial of three kinds of superficial heating: immersion in hot wax, hot water, or a “dry whirlpool,” a novel method of dry heating called Fluidotherapy. Dry heat is more easily tolerated, so the hope was that it would be more effective, and it was: dry heat on the hands and feet raised tissue temperature at a half centimetre depth to 9˚ and 5˚ respectively, somewhat more than hot wax or water.
“Temperature rises of capsules in the hand and foot were consistently higher than temperature rises in muscle at the same depth and that the temperature rises in the foot were higher than those in the hand. The former is probably due to blood flow variations between muscle and capsule; the latter because foot skin temperatures are normally two or three degrees lower than hand temperatures.”
The authors makes the case these methods are superior to the “penetrating” heat of microwaves or ultrasound because they can be easily applied to larger surface areas. And so “the data show that surface heating modalities are much more effective in producing elevated temperatures than is ultrasound therapy or diathermy at depths of up to 1.2 cm.”
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
The effectiveness of a new heat modality, Fluidotherapy, was compared with other superficial heat modalities by in vivo temperature measurements. The joint capsule and muscle temperatures in the hands and feet were measured in subjects treated with hydrotherapy, paraffin wax, and Fluidotherapy. Fluidotherapy is a dry heat modality consisting of finely divided solids suspended in an air stream. The dry heat modality, applied at 118 degrees F (47.78 degrees C), resulted in maximum joint capsule and muscle temperature rises of 16.2 degrees F (9 degrees C) and 9.5 degrees F (5.27 degrees C), respectively, compared to 13.5 degrees F (7.5 degrees C) and 8.1 degrees F (4.5 degrees C) for paraffin wax treatment and 10.8 degrees F (6.0 degrees C) and 7.7 degrees F (4.3 degrees C) for a 102 degrees F (38.89 degrees C) water bath, at a depth of about 0.5 cm beneath the skin. At depths down to 1.2 cm, superficial heat modalities are more effective than diathermy and much more effective than ultrasound in elevating temperature.
These three articles on PainScience.com cite Borrell 1980 as a source:
- PS Heat for Pain — A detailed guide to using heat as therapy for acute and chronic pain
- PS Icing, Heating & Tissue Temperature — How much do ice packs and heating pads change the temperature of muscle and joints?
- PS Does Massage Increase Circulation? — Probably not, and definitely not as much as a little exercise
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.