Benefits of Moist Heat
Because water transfers heat better than air, moist heat therapy delivers more heat directly to your skin without losing heat in the transfer process. The result of this greater heat transfer efficiency is that more of the heat makes its way deep into muscles, joints, ligaments and soft tissue.
Dry heat therapy tends to pull moisture away from your skin causing it to dry out. Think about what happens to your skin when it gets too hot inside your house – your skin gets dry and can crack if you do not apply moisturizing lotion. The same is true of heat therapy. Applying direct heat to your skin will leave your skin drier over time. Moist heat therapy, on the other hand, doesn’t wick moisture away from your body, leaving your skin warmed without drying it out.
While people using moist heat therapy tend to report that their pain symptoms are relieved faster, they also report that on average the pain relief lasts longer - reducing the need to use heat therapy as often. People with chronic conditions like arthritis who use moist heat packs regularly tend to require moist heat therapy less often than when using dry heat therapy. Fewer applications are required due to the increase in blood flow and oxygen levels that allows quicker muscle and tendon healing.
Adding massage during the application of moist heat will greatly intensify your results. Less pain and more results is a winning combination!