From Big Medical Encyclopedia

THERMAL TREATMENT (synonym thermotherapy) — thermal impact on an organism with the medical purpose.

Thermal influence happens at direct contact of skin of the person with the heat carrier (exogenous heat) when exchange of heat is made according to the law of heat conductivity, or heat is formed in body tissues (endogenous heat) as a result of transformation in warmly absorbed energy of the influencing physical factor (e.g., energy of light, electricity, the electromagnetic field). Methods T. l. are various and numerous. However the term «thermal treatment» usually extends to those medical methods, in to-rykh thermal the factor is only or defining. In most cases it is methods, at to-rykh there is a transfer of heat from the heat carrier to the person. For this purpose apply the hot-water bottles warming compresses, poultices, hydropathic procedures (hot bathtubs, souls), peloida (therapeutic muds, peat), peloidopodobny substances (paraffin, ozokerite, clay), infrared radiation, etc.

Mechanism of action of T. l. it is substantially caused by the changes happening the being able local and general circulation, which are followed by emergence of a skin hyperemia, the cut is the cornerstone vasodilatation, acceleration of a blood-groove in them, increase in quantity of the functioning capillaries. Expressiveness of local vascular reaction depends on a difference of temperature of the heat carrier and skin, duration of influence, the place and the area of application of heat, heat conductivity of fabrics and heat capacity of the heat carrier. The hyperemia is followed by strengthening of exchange, formation of biologically active agents that promotes regeneration and a rassasyvaniye. Heat possesses soothing and anti-spastic action. At long and intensive thermal influence at a number of pathological processes a favorable role is played by the strengthened sweating. The general reaction in response to action of a thermal irritant arises thanks to the processes happening as in a place of application of an irritant (formation of biologically active agents) and is generalized, by activation of the neurohumoral mechanisms defining a functional condition of many bodies and systems of an organism. So, thermal influence is followed by increase of cordial reductions, decrease in the ABP, increase in depth and a respiration rate, weakening of a tone of muscles, strengthening of a metabolism, change of function of closed glands. Considerable shifts happen in processes thermal controls (see). Under the influence of T. l. body temperature increases. Extent of its increase is in direct dependence on temperature of the used heat carrier and its physical properties. Expressiveness of changes from internals, and especially cardiovascular system, in many respects depends on their reference functional state. Therefore use of T. l. it has to be carried out with the strict accounting of the general reactive opportunities of an organism.

Indications to T. l. diseases of a musculoskeletal system, a disease and posttraumatic changes are central.i a peripheral nervous system, many diseases of internals, peripheral vessels, diseases of skin, an eye, fish soup, the residual phenomena after burns and freezing injuries. At the choice of a method T. l. it is necessary to consider a basic disease, the general condition of the patient, and also existence at it associated diseases. In not clear or doubtful cases of T. l. it is not necessary to apply because of a possibility of distribution of pathological process, strengthening of bleeding, etc. To absolute contraindications for all methods T. l. malignant and high-quality new growths or suspicion on their existence, active forms of tuberculosis, bleeding, a circulatory unefficiency of IIB — III of a stage belong.

See also Balneoterapiya , Bathtubs , Balneotherapy , Heliation , Mud cure , Inductothermy , Infrared radiation , Ozoceritotherapy , Paraffin therapy , Sand bathtubs , Phototherapy , Torfolecheniye , UVCh-therapy .

Bibliography: Olefirenko V. T. Water-thermotherapy, M., 1978.

N. F. Sokolova.