Local Heat Applications as a Treatment of Physical and Functional Parameters in Acute and Chronic Musculoskeletal Disorders or Pain

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Objectives: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of local heat applications (LHAs) in individuals with acute or chronic musculoskeletal disorders.Data sources: An electronic search was conducted on MEDLINE, Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, Current Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Physiotherapy Evidence databases up to December 2019.Study selection: Studies incorporating adults with any kind of musculoskeletal issues treated by LHA compared with any treatment other than heat were included.Data extraction: Two authors independently performed the methodological quality assessment using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.Data synthesis: LHA showed beneficial immediate effects to reduce pain vs no treatment (P<.001), standard therapy (P=.020), pharmacologic therapy (P<.001), and placebo/sham (P=.044). Physical function was restored after LHA compared with no treatment (P=.025) and standard therapy (P=.006), whereas disability improved directly after LHA compared with pharmacologic therapy (P=.003) and placebo/sham (P<.028). Quality of life was improved directly after LHA treatment compared with exercise therapy (P<.021). Range of motion increased and stiffness decreased after LHA treatment compared with pharmacologic therapy (P=.009, P<.001) and placebo/sham (P<.001, P=.023). The immediate superior effects of LHA on muscular strength could be observed compared with no treatment (P<.001), cold (P<.001), and placebo/sham (P=.023).Conclusions: Individuals with acute musculoskeletal disorders might benefit from using LHA as an adjunct therapy. However, the studies included in this meta-analysis demonstrated a high heterogeneity and mostly an unclear risk of bias.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)505-522
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume103
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
DOI's
StatusPublished - mrt 2022

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
Supported by the Thim van der Laan Foundation .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright:
Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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