Do you know what is holding your head, shoulders, knees, and toes together? Your joints! These connective and supportive parts of the body can become overworked, inflamed and cause anything from minor to major pain. The joints also play a significant role in our ability to move and in our range of motion. When damage occurs, it can affect the area or areas around a joint, making this common and widespread pain noticeable right away.An injury or other condition such as arthritis, bursitis, gout, sprains and more cause painful joints. Most adults would say they’ve experienced this type of pain within the past few months. As we age, the probability of inflamed joints or arthritis can become greater, but there are ways we can find natural relief from these irritating and painful issues.
How Infrared Heat Can Provide Pain Relief
Infrared heat is a naturally occurring energy produced by the sun, our bodies and all warm blooded animals. Safe and natural infrared heat is well known for relieving pain. When the body is immersed or wrapped up in infrared, the soothing rays can penetrate the body deeply and act on areas that are harder to reach, such as the joints. But, how does it actually work?
During exposure, the infrared heat warms the body and the elevation in temperature can increase blood flow. The combination of an increase in blood flow, improved circulation, and deep penetrating warmth can get directly to the source of the pain to provide relief. Inflammation that causes stiffness can also be helped with the use of infrared heat as new blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the area of the body experiencing pain that can promote healing.
Soothing infrared waves may also provide the body with more energy to heal. Deep relaxation, regulated cortisol levels, weight loss, and detoxification are also wellness benefits infrared heat can provide.
Soothing Infrared Studies
Those who partake in regular infrared treatments often find relief from injuries, fibromyalgia, arthritis, delayed-onset muscle soreness, peripheral arterial disease, ankylosing spondylitis and more. Infrared can also help with eliminating stiffness once inflammation has gone down, and this is especially useful for ongoing joint pain, strains, and sprains.
Let’s take a look at two studies that took place at the Kagoshima University Hospital in Japan. Researchers at the hospital have conducted multiple studies on a variety of ailments to find out if infrared heat is an effective option for relief. Their findings are remarkable and show that infrared heat is an effective way to relieve pain. One study split up chronic pain participants into groups. The first group was treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, rehabilitation, and exercise therapy. The second group was provided with the same treatment as well as one infrared session each day for a month. Although each group noticed relief, those who were exposed to infrared heat experienced faster relief. The infrared group was also able to return to work faster with less chronic pain induced anger and body pain than before.
In the second study, researchers focused on the effects of infrared on over a dozen female fibromyalgia patients. During this study, the patients participated in one infrared session a day two to five days a week. Immediately after the infrared sessions, the participants laid down in a warm room with a blanket for 30 minutes. After their first session, all patients reported a significant decrease in pain. After about ten treatments participants reported 20% -78% decrease in pain. Talk about results!
In another study, researchers revealed a trend towards long-term beneficial effects of infrared sessions. Scientists provided infrared treatments to patients who have arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The participants experienced regular infrared therapy sessions for a month. During the treatment period, no adverse effects were reported, pain, stiffness, and fatigue, decreased clinically and the improvements were marked as statistically significant.
Not only does infrared provide many pain reducing benefits, but it also creates a cozy and comfortable environment so you can relax. Finding relief from joint pain may require additional therapies. If you are unsure if infrared heat is recommended for you specifically, please contact your primary care physician.
- "The Effects Of Repeated Thermal Therapy For Patients With Chronic Pain". Karger.com. N.p., 2005. Web.
- Matsushita, Kakushi, Akinori Masuda, and Chuwa Tei. Efficacy Of Waon Therapy For Fibromyalgia. 1st ed. The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine, 2008. Web.
- Li, Ye and George D Gale. "Infrared Therapy For Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial". PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2006. Web.
- Oosterveld FG, e. (2017). Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pa... - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.