Heat therapy might be prescribed to alleviate pain and advance healing. Heat therapy is usually aimed at muscles and works by opening up the blood vessels. Applying heat works like a warm up before working out. The idea is to improve mobility before stretching and performing an adjustment. This can help to decrease the risk of sprains and strains when mobilizing stiff tissues. Additionally, decreased blood flow to the injured area may inhibit healing. The improved blood flow to the area may help the muscles relax and increase range of motion.
Please note that heat is not recommended early on in injury treatment due to inflammation.