Far infrared therapy utilises invisible light to create heat which heats the body directly without warming the surrounding air. Traditional saunas use heat from hot rocks to warm the air, which then heats your body from the outside. Because of this, traditional saunas must get much hotter; almost to the point of being uncomfortable. You can only sit in a traditional sauna for 15 minutes or so before your skin gets too hot and your nostrils singe from breathing in 185-degree air.
On the other hand, infrared heat is far more comfortable than hot rock heat as it is not required to be as insanely hot air temperature-wise. Because of this, you can remain inside the sauna for 30 minutes or longer, gaining all the benefits from the warm and gentle infrared heat. It makes sense, right? The longer you sweat, the greater the benefit. Check out our range of Portable Sauna Melbourne to help with your problem.
In my many years in the infrared sauna industry, I have seen countless examples of how people with pain-related ailments have been greatly benefitted by far infrared therapy. From Rheumatoid Arthritis to nerve pain, all have found relief. Let’s dive in to see how infrared saunas help with pain relief, reduce inflammation, ease fibromyalgia pain and help people living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Back pain affects so many of us. Be it from genetics or a chronic condition, something environmental, a temporary tweak from lifting something, or a stiff back from work, back pain one of the most common pain symptoms in the world.
There are many pharmaceutical medications given for back pain, all with health risks. There are tips on how to reduce or avoid back pain, but they don’t always work. For some, back pain is unavoidable after a day’s work. For others, it can become chronic, slowly affecting one’s functioning and quality of life.
An infrared sauna reduces and treats back pain at the source, with no side effects and without posing significant health risks. An infrared sauna isn’t just about heat, either. A sauna’s about circulation targeted heat deep into the tissue and bringing oxygen-rich blood to the areas of your body that need it. You’re kicking the body’s natural pain-killing response into high gear, simultaneously as your healing speeds up as well.
Back pain is one of the most common ailments. Whether it’s genetic or environmental, almost everyone has suffered from a stiff back or tweaked muscle. Using a sauna may be your answer to treating and reducing back pain while reducing future risk. Read on for more information on what may be causing back pain, tips on reducing pain, and how an infrared sauna can help.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain comes in many varieties, but the most pervasive one is probably low back pain. The Low Back Pain Fact Sheet from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders states “About 80 per cent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past three months.”
Unfortunately, back pain often hangs around longer than it should and can be described as a vicious cycle. When the body perceives pain, it responds with “guarding reactions,” including muscle tension, restricted movement, anxiety, and even fear of movement. The tension, restrictions, and fear lead to muscle spasm, adrenaline, and nerve sensitivity, all of which promote intensification of the pain, which increases the guarding reactions. Lather, rinse, repeat. Pretty soon, you’re calling in sick.
Approximately 80 per cent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. If you can deduce what the cause of it is if there’s a way to modify your behaviour or avoid what’s caused you such discomfort, of course, you’ll want to do it. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for everyone.
A lot of us incur back pain from work. Back pain is the most common cause of job-related disabilities and contributes to hundreds of thousands of missed workdays every year. Back pain can be tough to get rid of because of how often we use our backs. They support a lot of our weight, after all. This is why, for a lot of people, ongoing care and attention is required to overcome the back pain that’s holding them back.
Why your brain isn’t helping your back pain
When our brains and bodies perceive pain in our backs, a response is generated, and unfortunately, it’s not a positive one. Our body interprets pain as a threat, so it switches into a protective mode where muscles become tense, the movement gets restricted, and there’s also anxiety and fear of movement.
All this back pain and tension leads the way eventually to muscle spasms, nerve sensitivity, adrenaline, and the intensification of pain. The more pain you have, the stronger the response. In this way, back pain can become training for your brain to feel more pain. The pain-killers we take lack of effectiveness in the face of this increasing pain. This is why so many people with back pain get worse. A sauna can help.
Common strategies to help reduce back pain
There’s a lot that’s recommended to help eliminate back pain. Through some strategies work, others do not. Here’s what you’re likely to hear when you go to a doctor with back pain.
- Sleep. If you aren’t sleeping well or are sleeping without proper back support, one can worsen back pain. This is why chronic back pain sufferers oftentimes seek out new mattresses and pillows as help.
- Posture can affect neck pain and back pain, with us looking down at our phones and slouching being common finds. If you aren’t sitting with correct posture or are standing extensively with a slouch, you could be making back pain worse.
- Physical therapy is recommended for back pain, for those who can afford it. A physical therapist can teach strength-building exercises and stretches to help support your back better, providing more core strength and hopefully remedying pain in this area.
- Medication for back pain prescribed include NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and anti-inflammatories. In some cases, though increasingly rare, a doctor may prescribe medical-grade cannabis or opioids.
- Massages for back pain have been shown to increase blood flow and relax sore muscles. For some, a massage may feel too intense. Please note the same benefits from a back pain massage can be achieved in an infrared sauna.
- Hot and cold therapies provide temporary relief of pain, helping to stimulate circulation and reducing inflammation. If you’re in the moment with a lot of pain, applying ice to reduce inflammation and then heat to relax the muscles, this is oftentimes an effective strategy.
While it’s easy just to pop paracetamol or ibuprofen when in pain, pain is our body communicating and alerting us that something isn’t right. A holistic approach to treating pain consists of taking a step back to find the underlying cause of this pain response and treat symptoms safely and naturally. As opioids are currently prescribed more than ever with the potential for it being addictive and even claiming more and more lives, non-pharmaceutical pain relief options must be explored.
Chronic pain can be driven by several factors such as inflammation, accumulative toxins, long term stress, lack of sleep, over-exercise, dehydration, hormonal imbalances or gut imbalances. Regardless of the drivers, infrared saunas have been scientifically proven to help lower pain associated with various health conditions.
Unlike a traditional heated sauna, where the air is heated so you warm from the inside out, infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate almost four centimetres deep into your skin’s barrier, heating you from the inside out. By heating these tissues, we experience a vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels which not only sweats out toxins but brings down inflammation throughout the whole body. Infrared saunas have also been shown to induce the release of endorphins (yes, not just exercise), an important pain reliever. Both of these actions can be beneficial in reducing chronic pain, muscle spasms and joint stiffness due to conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
While there are many infrared saunas currently on the market, after much research into the different options, Sun Stream stood out to us by being the safest for emitting virtually no Electromagnetic fields. Infrared saunas also allow you to withstand the heating effects longer than a traditional sauna would (try holding a conversation in one), allowing you to spend more time reaping the many benefits, and are also a good option if you’re sensitive to heat. We researched some conditions and their outcomes using the Sun Stream infrared sauna:
Infrared Saunas Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain Significantly
The pain from fibromyalgia is constant, exhausting and disruptive. One of the greatest benefits from the use of far infrared sauna therapy is a great deal of pain relief from this debilitating condition. Fibromyalgia is a disorder distinguished by widespread musculoskeletal pain. This can be accompanied by fatigue, sleepiness, foggy memory and mood disorders. Research indicates that fibromyalgia intensifies painful sensations when it interrupts the way the brain processes pain signals. Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need
Symptoms generally begin after physical trauma. This can include surgery, a common infection or possibly even a significant psychological stress event such as being fired, or the death of a friend or family member. Contrarily, symptoms are also able to build over time with no specific triggering event. Frequently women are a great deal more susceptible to fibromyalgia than men. Also, those experiencing fibromyalgia can suffer from tension headaches, TMJ jaw pain, IBS, anxiety and even depression.
An estimated 2-10% of Australians are affected with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and tendons, accompanied by fatigue. A Japanese study found that just 15 minute daily infrared saunas two or five times a week at 60 degrees reduced pain by half. All patients found that even after one session, their pain reduced by 50%, and the effect became lasting after ten treatments.
Infrared Saunas Reduce Inflammation
Infrared heat also produces additional white blood cells which alleviates inflammation. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells (and substances they produce) protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. It has currently been identified as the leading cause of most ailments and health conditions, including joint pain and arthritis.
Inflammation is your body’s attempt at protecting itself from harmful stimuli so it can begin healing. We now know inflammation to be the beginning of many if not most diseases. Inflammation is also part of the body’s immune response and begins with irritation and changes into the immediate healing response. Inflammation does not mean infection, even when an infection causes inflammation. Infection is caused by a bacterium, virus or fungus, while inflammation is the body’s response to it.
Symptoms such as fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance and low grade-fever dramatically improved in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome after 15 to 25 infrared sessions for 15 minutes at 60 degrees. Interestingly, although steroid administration was discontinued, symptoms either didn’t return or worsen during the first year after discharge.
Infrared Saunas and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Far infrared saunas have long been recognised for their deep, penetrating and healing heat. Their unparalleled detoxification properties have been successfully used for decades to relieve many types of temporary and chronic pain. One of the most serious health issues assisted by far-infrared heat is all types of Arthritis, particularly Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA.
Many who suffer from chronic ailments, specifically RA, truly benefit from the penetrating heat produced by far infrared saunas. Infrared provides many solutions to problems unique to those suffering from RA. Far infrared light is the frequency of invisible light generated naturally by the sun. It is a type of low energy therapy that takes advantage of the heat generated by waves of energy from the far end of the infrared spectrum that can penetrate easily into problem muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments that cause an issue with RA.
Research has shown that infrared saunas can help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In this progressive inflammatory auto-immune condition, the immune system attacks the joints, resulting in extreme pain and stiffness, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet and ankles. As infrared saunas work to stimulate circulation to bring down inflammation throughout the whole body, they can help relieve stiff joints and sore muscles.
What about chronic pain related to other conditions? Infrared sauna sessions appear to improve pain caused by just about any source. Because of this, an infrared sauna can be used in conjunction with acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic treatments to optimise pain relief and management. Consult with our practitioners whether infrared saunas are appropriate for you.
Choose an infrared sauna for back pain over medications
For acute or chronic back pain, saunas have been shown to be highly effective at reducing pain. How a sauna works on back pain is by using infrared rays to penetrate up to three inches deep into the body. These rays open up blood vessels, gets nutrient-rich blood to the muscles and ligaments, and the warming allows the muscles and ligaments to feel less stiff.
The benefits of using a sauna don’t just last the 15-30 minutes you’re inside one, either. The advantages of using a sauna regularly are that the benefits can continue throughout the day. Saunas help people sleep better, help athletes recover from injuries and are a post-workout recommendation, have brain-boosting benefits, and so much more. You’re giving your body a lot to work with, which can have a significant impact on the intensity of your back pain.
What does the research say about back pain and infrared saunas?
A 2013 study conducted at the Auburn University at Montgomery compared stretching in a Sunlighten mPulse 3-in-1 sauna compared to a typical training room environment. Participants completed a series of hamstring stretches in random order with 48 hours separating the sessions. Results showed that acute flexibility increased up to 3x in the mPulse sauna than without! Benefits to the increased range of motion include joint mobility, less friction in the joints, enabling joint function to diminish stiffness and joint relaxation.
Clinically proven as a strategy to reduce back pain, infrared saunas work like muscle relaxers. Sports medicine researchers found that saunas and similar low-level heat therapies were more effective than over-the-counter oral medications like Tylenol and others. When a sauna combined with stretching immediately afterwards, the positive effects on back pain can be increasingly pronounced. The amount of pain relief found from a sauna, and multiple studies have shown to be somewhere around 50 per cent after a single treatment with further reductions coming following multiple treatments.
A sauna is an opportunity to feel good, relaxed, and healthy
Using a sauna does not necessarily mean your back pain is going to disappear, and there’s no longer anything to worry about. Chances are if you have back pain, there’s a cause. If this isn’t addressed, back pain’s likely to continue indefinitely, and you’ll always be playing a game of catch-up with a sauna or other strategies. Check out Portable Sauna Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.
Back problems most commonly will come from a strain or over-exertion, leading to tension. A sauna, combined with being more active, can relax this tension and then, strengthen the muscles. Ideally, this is the approach you want to have in remedying pain. Medications work temporarily and will only cover up the pain, without providing the body with any building blocks to recover completely from what’s causing it so much discomfort. Back pain’s difficult to treat in Western medicine because the resources doctors have available to them is so limited. Comparatively, a sauna and frequent, light to moderate exercise do make a difference.
Can I use a sauna for other chronic pain – yes!
An infrared sauna doesn’t just target back pain. The infrared rays reach into the body at every which angle and throughout the entirety of the body, pain’s reduced. If you have knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, elbow pain, headaches, foot pain, or sore or achy muscles, the heat from a sauna’s going to reach into the muscles and ligaments in all these areas, reducing inflammation and increasing oxygen-rich, nutrient-dense circulation direct to where it’s needed.
If you suffer from chronic pain, buy an infrared sauna. Set it up in your home. Living life in pain isn’t fun, and unfortunately, for some, it’s unavoidable. That doesn’t mean you can’t reduce the intensity of pain now and again. With an infrared sauna readily available, when you need it, access it and gain the benefits. Chronic sufferers who use a sauna 4-7 times a week see a multitude of benefits, ranging from pain relief to increased mental focus. Some even find they’re able to taper down or get completely off pain-killing medications such as narcotics. The results are real and achievable!