(HealthDay News) -- Heat therapy can ease pain and stiffness, muscle tightness and spasms.
The University of Michigan Health System explains the best uses for heat therapy:
Use heat to help loosen up stiff muscles and joints and make them more limber.
Do not use heat immediately after an injury or if there is swelling. Heat may worsen swelling by increasing blood flow to the area.
Apply moist heat, which tends to be more effective than dry heat.
Soak a towel in hot water, microwave a damp towel or use a commercial heat pack to provide moist heat. Apply it for about 20 minutes, or as long as your doctor recommends.
Soak in a hot tub or whirlpool bath.