Simulating Thermotherapeutic Response Induced by Thermal Padding for Treating Acute Injuries

J. Kantor[1], Y. Feng[1], C. Acosta[1], E. Massingill[1]
[1]University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA

Cryotherapy and thermotherapy are common methods of treatment for acute injuries ranging from ankle sprains to complex surgery. The idea behind such treatment is that a change in temperature will reduce pain and constrict fluctuations in blood flow at the targeted area. The purpose of this study is to simulate the vascularized tissue reaction and the resulting blood flow fluctuation from thermal changes in the surrounding environment. The influence of the temperature on the vessel diameter and fluid flow rate is studied in a two-dimensional model. The results show that the vessel diameter is dependent upon the applied temperature as well as vessel geometric effect on fluid flow changes and perfusion rate in tissues.