How Long after Surgery can you Apply Heat

How Long after Surgery can you Apply Heat?

It has been known for a long time that heat can help relieve pain and speed up the healing of injuries. But we are often confused about using heat therapy after surgery! Confusing minds gathered some questions in our brains! Can we use heat therapy after surgery? If we can, then how long after surgery can you apply heat? This content will discuss when you can apply heat therapy after any kind of surgery.

Use of heat therapy

Heat therapy can help reduce painful muscle spasms and increase a joint’s range of motion by relaxing tight muscles.

When the heat hits the body, it opens up the blood vessels and makes more blood flow, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area.

This, in turn, will help reduce joint pain and relax sore muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

How does heat therapy work?

You can use either dry or wet sources when putting heat on a sore spot. Even though dry heat sources can dry out the skin, they are the best choice for people who need to keep the same temperature for a long time.

On the other hand, wet heat sources are hard to keep at the same temperature, but the heat penetrates the skin better to relieve deeper aches. Heat can be applied with a heating pad plugged in or heated in the microwave, a hot water bottle, gel packs, or a hot bath.

Many athletes have found relief from multiple injuries or injuries that cover a large area using saunas. This is because saunas use wet heat that spreads and gets deep into the body.

How long after surgery can you apply heat?

Small blood vessels open up during heat therapy, which can make inflammation worse instead of better. Heat might not be the best treatment if your injury happened within the last seven days or less.

On the other hand, if any surgery is done for you, you should not use heat therapy. If you use heat in your incision area, blood circulation will increase initially. And inflammation may increase immediately.

You should not apply heat in your incision area to prevent inflammation and further complication. It may increase your bleeding in your !

Heat treatments should be used for long-term conditions to help relax your muscles, loosen tissues, and get more blood to the area.

Instead, you may try ice. Pain and swelling can be reduced by an ice pack for the first 48 to 72 hours.

You can apply heat for any reason when your incision area is completely healed after surgery. But for that, you should console your physician of physiotherapy doctor also!

Safety tips for using heat therapy

  • You should never put the heat right on your skin. Instead, you should wrap any heat therapy device in a thin towel to keep it safe.
  • Heat should not be used for more than 20 minutes without first talking to a doctor or physical therapist.
  • If the area is swollen, don’t use heat therapy. First, you should use cold therapy to bring down the swelling.
  • When using an electric heating pad, it may be intended to lie down and enjoy comfort. You could fall asleep and burn yourself, though.

FAQs about Heat and Surgery

Here are some FAQs about heat and surgery!

Is it OK to apply heat to a wound?

You should never use heat therapy if you have an open wound or poor blood flow. If you have swelling, a heating pad (check price) can make the problem worse.

When is heat contraindicated?

Heat therapy is not a good idea right after exercise or surgery, an injury, or an infection. Using heat on damaged or infected tissues will hurt more and take longer to heal.

How long do surgery stitches take to heal?

These are the usual periods:

  • Stitches on your head – It may take 3 to 5 days.
  • Stitches over joints (Ex- knees or elbows) – It may take 10 to 14 days.
  • Stitches on other body parts – It may take 7 to 10 days.


"Hasan", I am a physiotherapy Doctor. I have completed my B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently I am working as a clinical physiotherapist at a renowned physiotherapy center and I am continuing my MPT (Master's of physiotherapy) degree at CRP, Savar.

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