~Paraffin wax bath therapy is an application of the molten paraffin wax on the body part.
~Paraffin wax is a white or colorless soft, solid wax. It’s made from saturated hydrocarbons.
~the melting point of wax is 51-55c.
~if the molten wax at 51-55 c is poured on the body part,its may cause burn.
~some impurity like liquid paraffin or mineral oil is added to lower the melting point of safe application.
~thus the tempreture of the paraffin wax is maintained at 40-44 c.
~the combination of the wax and mineral oil has low specific heat.
~this enhances the patient “s ability to tolerate heat from the wax better than from the water of the same tempreture.
~the composition of wax : paraffin : mineral oil is 7:3:1 or wax: paraffin or mineral oil is 7:1.
~the mode of the transmission of the heat from praffin to the patients skin is through conduction.
~paraffin has a slow thermal conductivity.
~slow heat diffusion(6 times lower than water)
~paraffin wax has a low melting point (55).
~when the oil is added ,the paraffin will remain at a tempreture of 40 to 44 C.
~This low specific heat will enhance the patient to tolerate heat from the paraffin better than from water of the same tempreture.
~its give moist heat.
~there is a layer between the skin and the wax producing heat and sweating which does not evaporate.
~after removal the heated part cools quickly by the evaporation.
~it is analgesic;-
~This insulting layer keeps the heat and is effective in relief of pain.
~container is made up of enamelled baths or stainless still and fiberglass shell.
~container contains wax and paraffin oil in the prescribed ratio.
~thermostat keeps the tempreture adjusted with knob.
~thermostat pilots lamp indicates wether thermostat is on or off.
~power pilots lamp show wether power is on or off.
~lid cover container and caster allow the paraffin wax bath container to be move from place to place.
*PWB methods off application:-
*Dipping and Wrap:-
~most common method.
~involves placing body part to be treated in a paraffin bath, followed by removing it and allowing the paraffin cool and harden.
~approximately 7 to 12 dips are done.
~followed by wrapping in wax paper or plastic which is covered by towel or insulated mitts.
~ application time is 20 to 30 minutes or till wax cools.
~dip once for having a glove.
~then immerse for 15 to 20 min.
~never immerse at first for long time without making a glove.
~dry before to have insultions.
*direct pouring method:-
~the molten wax is direct poured by a mug or utensil on the part to be treated and
~wrapped around by a table.
~the wax is allowed to be solidified for about 10-20 minutes.
~several(4-6) layer can be made over the body tissues.
*Toweling or Bandaging method:-
~a towel or roll of bandage is in molten paraffin wax and
~wrapped around a body part.
~several layers can be made over the body part.
~this methgod preferably used for treating proximaly part of the body.
~it is less commonly used method of paraffin wax bath application.
~8-10 coats of paraffin wax are applied to the area with a paint brush using even and rapid strokes.
~the area is then wrapped with towel for 10-20minutes and after this time paraffin wax is removed and discarded.
*Physiological effects of heat:-
~pain and muscle spasm:especially in the distal extremities.
~oedema and inflammation:-
~gentle heat reduces
~post traumatic swelling of hands and feet
~swelling of the hands in rheumatoid arthritis
~swelling of the hands in degenerative joint disease.
~especially in sub acute and early chronic stages or inflammation.
~caution is needed in acute arthritic pain and swelling.
*Adehsions and scars:-
~wax soften and facilitets the mobilization and streching procedures.
~ischemia:-eg; arterial insuffiency
~haemorrhage:-there is an increased arterial and capillary blood flow and heat.
~imaired sensation :-spinel cord injury may predispose to burn.
~inabillity to communicate or respond to pain :-eg;dementia
~malignancy:-may increase tumor growth
~acute trauma or inflammation:-diffusion across membrane is increased
~scar tissue:-elevation of tempreture increases the metabolic demand of the tissue ,scar tissue has inadequate vascular supply , and is not able to provide an adequate vascular response when heated, which can lead to ischemic necrosis.
~poor thermal regulation.
~useful for pt. with poor heat tolerance ,dry scaly skins,after plaster of paris removal.
~can be follopwed by therapuetic exercises.
~can be carried out at home.
~wax can mold around the bony contours of heat & hands.
~heat is applied evenly by conduction.
~effective only for distal extremities in the term of ease of application.
~no method of tempreture controls once applied.
~heating last only about 20 minutes.
~it is a passive treatment:-exercise may not be performed simultaneously.