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Paraffin Wax Bath Hand Physiotherapy

Paraffin wax bath bath or also known as paraffin wax heat therapy bath is one of the moist heat therapy modalities that we use in our physio clinics by our senior hand therapist. It's used specificly to

  • loosen tight joints and soft tissues
  • improves circulation
  • soothes soft tissues, joint stiffness and muscle pains

The history of the use of wax as treatment:

The use of Paraffin wax as therapy has been known and utilized for centuries, can can be traced to the century of the Roman Empire. Then, the Roman physicians would pour hot wax onto the bodies of the patients to prepare them for massage therapy.

Later, the French started using paraffin wax by melting it and placing them over injuries to increase the rate of healing for their patients and soldiers. During World War 1, the British Medical Soldiers used warm paraffin as wax therapy to treat orthopedic injuries and disorders within military hospitals.

Today, paraffin wax bath moist heat treatment is commonly used in physio clinics, especially in outpatient centers for the treatment of conditions such as:

Paraffin wax bath moist heat treatment is also commonly used in physiotherapy management and treatment of sports injuries plus other forms of disorders and injuries where heat therapy and exercise therapy are required.

An additional benefit of paraffin wax bath therapy is that on top of its function as a therapy modality and heat, the wax itself is rich in minerals and heat results in

  • soothes and moisturizes the human body, the skin, opens pores
  • increases blood flow and circulation
  • creates a general sense of relaxation and calm effect on patients

Paraffin wax is a natural component of crude mineral oils, produced by refining or separating the wax out of the crude mineral oils. To purify it, it has to be boiled, then cooled, then filtered into a heavy wax-oil substance, finishing as the paraffin wax. It is laboratory tested to be safe for external use, and hygienic. The wax that we use is colorless, tasteless, and tends to be unscented (though sometimes we add a little scented type too).

Also, it is heavy in molecular structure, which helps to increase blood supply to the body part being treated, trapping moisture from the underlying layers of the skin - this results in a rejuvenating, moisturizing and nourishing effect on the skin, the often soft and smooth finishing on the skin.

Paraffin wax bath bath moist heat treatment decreases pain, aches and stiffness in muscles and joints by removing any excess fluids from surrounding soft tissues whilst providing heat and natural lubrication to the desired part.

However, this treatment is contraindicated / not suitable or recommended for people with the following conditions:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Diabetes mellitus
  3. Varicose Veins
  4. Skin sensitivity to mineral oils
  5. Skin sensitivty to heat
  6. Open wounds