Physiological properties of thermal modalities 1
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Physiological Properties of Thermal Modalities (1). Physiological Properties of Thermal Modalities. Heat is a form of energy which is interchangeable with other forms of energy such as electrical or mechanical energy

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Physiological Properties of Thermal Modalities (1)

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Physiological properties of thermal modalities 1

Physiological Properties of Thermal Modalities (1)

Physiological properties of thermal modalities

Physiological Properties of Thermal Modalities

  • Heat is a form of energy which is interchangeable with other forms of energy such as electrical or mechanical energy

  • When the body is heated  rise in temperature due to the increased energy of motion of molecules in the body

Heat and temperature

Heat and Temperature

  • Various forms of energy converted into heat.

  • There is a constant ratio between the energy lost and the heat produced

    The First Law of Thermodynamics

  • In all processes occurring in an isolated system, the energy of the system remains constant

  • Or simply, energy is neither created nor destroyed

Physiological properties of thermal modalities 1

  • Electrical, chemical and magnetic energy can be converted into heat

  • One form of energy converted into another form and some energy is always converted into heat

  • Heat absorbed by small area more than by big area

  • Temperature is the expression of all status of matter, solid, liquid and gas

Physiological properties of thermal modalities 1

  • Temperature measured by Celsius (C) and Fahrenheit scales

  • 0°C = 32°F

  • 100°C = 212°F

  • Heat unit is Joules (J)

Specific heat

Specific Heat

Specific heat is the amount of heat energy required to raise a unit mass of material by 1°C

  • S.H. of water = 4.185 J/g/C°

  • S.H. of water = 1.01 J/g/C°

  • S.H. of skin > muscle > fat > bone

Physical effects of heat

Physical Effects of Heat

  • When heat added to matter it increases the kinetic energy of its microstructure

  • When rising the temperature, the average kinetic energy of molecules increases

  • Expansion of the material

    •  Kinetic energy   vibration of molecules  expand the material

    • Gas > liquid > solid

Physical effects of heat1

Physical Effects of Heat

  • Change in physical state: changing substance from one physical state to another requires a specific amount of heat energy

    • Latent heat: the energy required to convert 1g of water at 100°C to 1g of steam at 100°C

    • Latent heat of water [2268J]

  • Production of an electrical potential difference

  • Acceleration of chemical reactions

Physical effects of heat2

Physical Effects of Heat

Van Hoff’s Law

Any chemical reaction capable of being accelerated is accelerated by rise of temperature

  • Production of electromagnetic waves

  • Thermionic emission

  • Reduction in viscosity of fluids

Methods of heat transfer

Methods of Heat Transfer

  • Conduction

  • Convection

  • Conversion

  • Radiation

  • Evaporation



Heat transfer by direct contact (e.g. hot pack, cold pack)

Heat conducted from high temperature material to low temperature material

Guidelines of heat transfer by conduction

  • The greater the temperature difference between the heating or cooling agents and the body part it is applied to, the faster the rate of heat transfer

Guidelines of heat transfer by conduction

Guidelines of heat transfer by conduction

  • Materials with high thermal conductivity transfer heat more rapidly than those with low thermal conductivity

    • Thermal conductivity: is the rate at which a material transfers heat by conduction

    • Metal > water > air

  • The larger the area of contact between a thermal agent and the patient, the greater the total heat transfer

  • The rate of temperature rise decreases in proportion to tissue thickness



Heat transfer by circulation of a medium of a different temperature (e.g. fluidotherapy. Whirlpool)

  • Due to direct contact between a circulating medium and another material of a different temperature

  • Heat transfer more than if by conduction

  • Blood transfers heat to reduce local change in tissue temperature  reduce tissue damage



Conversion from one type of energy to another (e.g. ultrasound, diathermy, metabolism)

  • Conversion of a non thermal form of energy into heat

  • Not affected by the temperature of thermal agent

  • Rate of heat transfer depends on the power of energy source

  • Not require direct contact.

  • Require good transmitter



Exchange directly without an intervening medium or contact

  • Rate of temperature increase depends on intensity of radiation, size of radiation source, treated are, distance and angle of radiation



Absorption of energy as a result of conversion of a material from a liquid to vapor state (e.g. vapocoolant spray, sweating)

Body heat transfer

Body Heat Transfer

  • Heat exchanged by conductive processes between body surface and the environment

  • The body core temperature is constant

  • Equilibrium is maintained between internal heat production and heat loss or gain at skin surface

  • Heat transfer within tissue is by conduction and convection

  • Heating modalities are subdivided according to their primary mode of heat

In thermotherapy

In Thermotherapy

  • The properties concerned with heat conduction are thermal conductivity, tissue density and specific heat

  • Convection involves these properties in addition to fluid viscosity

    Thermal homeostasis:

    homeothermy is the pattern of temperature in which cyclic variation in deep body teperature (core) is maintained within the limits of -2/+2°C

    • Hyperthermia  +2 °C  39 °C

    • Hypothermia  -2 °C  37 °C

Body temperature

Body Temperature

It consists of two compartments:

  • The core (central compartment)

    • Controlled by physiological mechanisms at a constant level, it is around 37 °C, more in organs.

  • The shell or superficial layer

    • In subject to much greater variations in temperature

    • Varies according to the core temperatue and external environment

Body temperature measurement

Body Temperature Measurement

It is measured by different types of thermometers

Thermal balance

Core temperature is constant, there is equilibrium between internal heat production and external heat loss

Metabolic heat production m

Metabolic Heat Production (M)

Maximum values of heat production occur during sever physical work

Heat production can increase at rest in cold conditions by involuntary muscle contractions that produce shivering

Control of body temperature

Thermoregulation integrated by a controlling in the CNS respond to heat content of tissues signaled by thermoreceptors

Good luck

 Good Luck 

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