A condition affecting the joints, arthritis can be debilitating and people suffering from the condition experience a lot of pain. There are around 100 types of arthritis, but the most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, wherein the immune system attacks the joint linings. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrists, hands and other joints. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage in the joints due to wear and tear and affects the joints that are used the most.
Typically, the goal of medical treatment in arthritis is to reduce inflammation and pain and increase the individual’s quality of life. Exercise is extremely important for people suffering from arthritis as it helps to increase flexibility and strength, reduces joint pain and fatigue. However, when the joints are stiff and painful and making things rather difficult, the idea of walking or exercising can seem rather overwhelming.
People living with arthritis suffer from joint pain and often use painkillers for relief from pain. While the painkillers do help a great deal to alleviate the pain; however, in the long run, it can be quite harmful to the liver and kidneys. This has led to a rise in alternative therapies to increase mobility and reduce pain. And, it has been seen that infrared sauna therapy is among the most effective methods for pain reduction and it also can be used alongside traditional medical therapies.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, heat therapy like an infrared sauna can help a great deal in helping to soothe stiff and painful joints. So, “what is infrared therapy and how can it help?” Infrared energy has a similar wavelength to the energy that is emitted naturally by the human body.
Since the wavelengths are similar, the infrared heat produced by an infrared sauna heats the body evenly and induces hyperthermia. It penetrates our body, deep into the muscles and tissues. The infrared heat helps to dilate the blood vessels and boosts the circulation and flow of oxygen-rich blood.
This increase in blood circulation and increased oxygen has healing effects on the body, helping to reduce muscle spasms, joint and muscle stiffness, soreness and pain and the range of motion of the affected joints are increased significantly. The heat from the infrared sauna also releases endorphins or “feel-good chemicals” that interact with the brain’s receptors and help to reduce pain.
According to a study, it was found that infrared sauna therapy was very useful in treating ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients suffering from both conditions received 8 infrared treatments over a period of 4 weeks. It was found that there was a significant decrease in stiffness and pain and the improvements were statistically noteworthy. Also, in general, the patients reported a reduction in the pain after the treatment and there were no side effects or aggravation of the condition.
In a study published in the Annals of Clinical Research, it was reported that sauna therapy offered increased mobility and temporary pain relief in people suffering from arthritis. The pain relief was essentially attributed to the boost in the release of adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, growth hormones and cortisol, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties and the release of endorphins due to the increased stress on the body, which are the natural organic painkillers in the body.
Over 50% of the participants in the study reported an increase in mobility and temporary pain relief. When exposed to the heat, the tissues comprising largely collagen (fasciae, tendons and articular capsules) become flexible, thereby increasing mobility, which allows a more active lifestyle.
For several years now, infrared sauna therapy is being used for relief from all types of pain. As mentioned earlier, arthritis is a serious disease and the pain experienced by people suffering from arthritis can be debilitating. Infrared sauna therapy has proved to be extremely beneficial in helping to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
The gentle heat penetrates deep into the body, muscles and tissues, flushes out the toxins, improves circulation and metabolism, oxygenates the tissues and provides relief from pain. If you suffer from arthritis, then it is recommended that you consult your doctor about using infrared sauna therapy as part of your health regimen.
While infrared sauna therapy may not completely cure all arthritis and joint pains; however, when it is combined with medication, diet and exercise, there is sure to be a reduction in the pain, allowing you to enjoy a pain-free and active lifestyle. And, feeling better can trigger an upward spiral that will boost your mood naturally, improve your mental health and your overall well being.