Far Infrared Saunas: Can They Help With Arthritis Pain?

In the United States, there is no greater cause of disability than arthritis. This painful affliction affects millions of people every year. Whether it’s in the hands and wrists or the knees and hips, joint pain can be devastating to one’s quality of life, affecting not just your ability to work, but also your ability to relax and enjoy life.


areas of arthritis painBecause of how serious chronic joint pain is, numerous remedies are offered on the market. From drugs to therapies, some people will try anything for just a moment of relief. But there is one treatment that many may not have yet considered: far infrared saunas.

With newer technologies allowing for these saunas to be used in your home, those who suffer from arthritis or joint pain have a great option in possibly reducing their pain on a day to day basis.


Why A Far Infrared Sauna?

There are different kinds of saunas out there, so it is first important to understand why a FAR infrared sauna is best for helping with joint pain instead of other types of saunas. All saunas have the same purpose: to increase the body’s temperature. They accomplish this through different means, and these means are important for the effects contributing to health benefits.

Traditional saunas, like a steam room or a wood burning sauna, work by heating up the external temperature of the room. This means they also heat up the body from the outside to the inside. Which makes them less effective than far infrared saunas in treating conditions like arthritis.

These saunas work by using electromagnetic waves from the light spectrum to increase the body’s temperature directly. These waves on the “far” spectrum (hence, “far infrared”) are such that they penetrate the body’s skin and work directly on the body. They also avoid the ultraviolet waves (like from the sun) which can be damaging to the skin. For these reasons, a far infrared sauna is many times more effective in helping treat arthritis and joint pain because the waves hit directly on the body’s internal tissues.


How Does a Far Infrared Sauna Help with Joint Pain?

There are several ways that regular infrared sauna treatments can help with joint pain whether it’s caused by rheumatoid arthritis or other causes like normal wear and tear from years of use.

One study in 2009 from Clinical Rheumatology found that 30 minutes twice a week was enough to significantly reduce stiffness and pain related to joints and arthritis. Another study from 2013 found that as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week in a far infrared sauna was found to reduce symptoms related to arthritis.


JNH sauna helping arthritis Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Perhaps to the most direct effect that infrared saunas can have in reducing pain related to arthritis are the anti-inflammatory chemicals that are released into the body as a result of far infrared waves.

One study published in The Annals of Clinical Research showed that decreased pained in the joints was due to increased levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and certain hormones—all of which are natural painkillers produced because of the increased body heat.


Deep Tissue Therapy

Because far infrared saunas heat the body from the inside out, it relaxes the muscles and tissues directly. Muscle relaxation is a known contributor to pain relief for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain. As your whole body becomes more relax and the waves work on the muscles themselves it will relieve stiffness and soreness. And with these high technology sauna waves, your whole body will be more relaxed because the waves evenly act throughout every muscle and tissue within your body.


Weight Loss Using Infrared

One of the great causes of joint pain, especially in the hips and knees, is obesity. Those suffering from obesity are known to also suffer from pain in these places. The added weight on the knees and hips causes too much stress on these joints which causes the pain. Every doctor with patients who have this condition recommends weight loss as the primary way of alleviating joint pain in the low extremities.

The problem, though, is that people with a serious obesity condition may be restricted in the kinds of exercises necessary for weight loss. For this reason, a far infrared sauna can be a great way to help reduce body fat when traditional exercise is too strenuous. When the body must work to cool itself when it is heated by the infrared waves, it can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories during a 30 – 60 minutes sessions. That’s not an insignificant amount when combined with proper diet and possibly with medication.

As the weight comes off, this will reduce the stress acting on the joints, not to mention the other benefits that were outlined above.


arthritis pain in fingersWill An Infrared Sauna Cure My Arthritis?

Sadly, there is still no known cure for arthritis. While the studies we have outlined here all show that far infrared saunas help reduce pain due to arthritis and can increase some use of the joints, the effects are only short-term.

What this means is that if you stop using these healthy saunas, the effects will wear off. You have to continue using them if you want to reap the benefits.

So, while the relief may be temporary, that relief is often more than enough for most people to seriously consider and continue using far infrared portable saunas. It may not be a cure, but it is a welcomed respite to chronic pain and discomfort.

As with any kind of treatment, you should consult your physician before adding any far infrared sauna regimen. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly so that you do not overheat yourself which might lead to injury. Also, be sure that you have some cool-down period planned into your infrared sauna use. It is important that you schedule some time to allow your muscles time to recover from the intense heat.

While this is not a permanent solution, it can be a welcomed relief to chronic pain. With continued therapy in these high technology saunas, you can greatly improve your quality of life and reduce the amount of pain you deal with on a day to day level.


Images – Decade3d/JHN Saunas/Yopedro © 123RF

Far Infrared Saunas: Can They Help With Arthritis Pain?
Far Infrared Saunas: Can They Help With Arthritis Pain?
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