Therapeutic Application of Fluidotherapy

Fluidotherapy is similar to other forms of superficial heat modalities. Besides increasing the heat in a local area the mixture of cellulose material in the heated air provides a thermal contact for the extremity being treated.

Fluidotherapy can be used for inflammation, including RA and osteoarthritis, post operative rehabilitation including silastic joint replacements and amputations, as well as subacute and chronic conditions..

Some contraindications we need to keep in mind are fevers, anesthetic areas, circulatory disorders, hemorrhage, and heat sensitivity.

Fluidotherapy units come in a variety of models and can be used to treat upper and lower extremities and even lower back problems. The machines will have controls for temperature, duration and agitation and will usually allow for temperature ranges from 100 to 125 degrees F even though the therapeutic range is most often between 102 and 118 degrees F.

Something handy about the fluidotherapy unit is a covering can be applied to open wounds so the area can still be treated while using a lower temperature setting. And the temperature can be raised sufficiently after treatment to sterilize the unit and prevent any cross contamination.

There are several advantages to fluidotherapy, the temperature and agitation can be controlled to patient comfort and the variety of sizes available allow for most body areas to be treated. It also allows for movement within the chamber so active exercise can be performed during treatment. The dry, comfortable heat increases blood flow and the particles produce a massaging action which produces a sensory stimulation and pressure fluctuation which can aid in decreasing edema in the area. It can also be used with metal implants.

There are a few disadvantages to fluidotherapy, like it being an expensive initial expense going $5000 for some units and more. Clients may also feel some claustrophobia from the enclosed container and an intolerance for the dry materials being used.

Some steps to administering a Fluidotherapy treatment:

    1. Allow 30 minutes to preheat the unit
    2. Set treatment temperature according to client's tolerance
    3. Instruct patient to wash area to be treated thoroughly
    4. Position client height to permit the extrmity or body part to be submerged without strain
    5. Submerge body part in particle bed
    6. Turn on blower
    7. Instruct client to exercise body part
    8. The maximum temperature within the treated part occurs after 15 minutes of treatment. Therefore treatments are about 20 minutes in length
    9. When treatment is over, turn blower off, remove extremity and inspect the area