Chronic pain relief with infrared light

Chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia affect millions of people around the world. While there is no cure for these diseases, health professionals continue to search for alternative therapies to help reduce symptoms like chronic pain and high levels of depression and anxiety. Infrared treatment is quickly gaining popularity as a therapeutic way of reducing symptoms with no adverse side effects.

Infrared light is useful for chronic conditions as the light waves are able to penetrate the skin by up to 7 mm, soothing the joints and bones from within. Because of its relative infancy as a method of therapy, the benefits of infrared light are still under researched. However, the studies that have been conducted show highly promising results.

For example, a Dutch study noted that 34 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis all observed reduced feelings of pain after four weeks of regular infrared sauna treatment. These results were only observed in the short-term, so infrared saunas aren’t going to cure sufferers of these conditions, but incorporating sauna bathing into a consistent treatment regime could be highly beneficial at keeping levels of pain down.

Additionally, chronic back pain accounts for 40% of sickness absence in the NHS and an estimated 28 million adults in the UK experience chronic pain of some kind. In one study, two control groups were given a number of relieving therapies, with one group also being treated with infrared light. Of the group who received the infrared treatment, 77% returned to work after two years, compared with 50% of the non-infrared group.

While research needs to be much more extensive to really provide proof of the benefits of infrared saunas in reducing levels of chronic pain, scientific studies are showing hugely positive results for most chronic illnesses. The potential for pain reduction and the fact that no long-term negative side effects have been observed make infrared therapy as part of a regular treatment process a promising opportunity.

The infographic below is provided by UK Saunas and shows the results of studies into the effects of infrared sauna treatment on some of the most common chronic conditions.

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Infrared use for chronic pain relief


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