Infrared Sauna Helps Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis
Results of a study on the effects of infrared sauna on rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients was published in January in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology as written by researchers at the Expertise Center Health, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, in The Netherlands.
To study the effects of infrared sauna, a form of total-body hyperthermia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, patients were treated for a 4-week period with a series of eight infrared treatments treatments. Twice weekly, seventeen rheumatoid arthritis patients and 17 ankylosing spondylitis patients were studied. Infrared therapy produced no adverse effects and no increase in either disease was noted.
As reported, pain and stiffness decreased clinically, and improvements were statistically significant (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001 in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients, respectively) during an infrared sauna session. Fatigue also decreased. Both RA and AS patients felt comfortable on average during and especially after treatment. In the RA and AS patients, pain, stiffness, and fatigue also showed clinical improvements during the 4-week treatment period, but these did not reach statistical significance. No increase in disease was found in patients in either group.
In conclusion said the Dutch researchers, infrared treatment has statistically significant short-term beneficial effects and clinically relevant period effects during treatment in RA and AS patients without enhancing disease activity.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis or have a friend or relative who does, why not try sauna therapy on your own? The results are very promising for a decrease in pain and stiffness associated with both diseases. The mental health benefits were not mentioned, but the release of endorphins-the body’s own “feel good” drug surely elevated the mood of the participants. The infrared sauna treatment involves no drugs other than the body’s own. It’s entirely natural!