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22 August 2011

A comparison of the effect of a variety of thermal and vibratory modalities on skin temperature and blood flow in healthy volunteers

Everett B. Lohman IIIABDEF, Gurinder S. BainsABCDE, Trevor LohmanB, Michael DeLeonF, Jerrold Scott PetrofskyE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881921

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(9): MT72-81

Abstract

Background: Circulation plays an essential role in tissue healing. Moist heat and warm water immersion have been shown to increase skin circulation; however, these heating modalities can cause burns. Recent research has shown that passive vibration can also increase circulation but without the risk of burns.
Material/Methods: The aim of this study is to compare the effects of short-duration vibration, moist heat, and a combination of the two on skin blood flow (SBF) and skin temperature (ST). Ten (10) subjects, 5 female and 5 male, aged 20-30 years of age, received two interventions a day for 3 consecutive days: Intervention 1 – Active vibration only (vibration exercise), Intervention 2 – passive vibration only, Intervention 3 – moist heat only, Intervention 4 – passive vibration combined with moist heat, Intervention 5 – a commercial massaging heating pad, and Intervention 6 – no intervention, resting in supine only (control). SBF and ST were measured using a laser Doppler imager during the 10 minute intervention and then throughout the nine minute recovery period.
Results: The mean skin blood flow following a ten-minute intervention of the combination of passive vibration and moist heat was significantly different from the control, active vibration, and the commercial massaging heating pad. Skin temperature following the ten-minute interventions of moist heat alone and passive vibration alone were both significantly different from the commercial massaging heating pad and active vibration interventions.
Conclusions: The combination of passive vibration and moist heat produced the greatest increase in skin blood flow and the second highest increase in skin blood flow nine minutes post application.

Keywords: Skin Temperature - physiology, Skin - blood supply, Regional Blood Flow - physiology, Laser-Doppler Flowmetry, Hot Temperature, Health, Adult, Time Factors, Vibration, young adult

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750