Can Infrared Therapy help with chronic pain?
It is unfortunate that in the world of medical science, there are some diseases that affect the body for which doctors cannot point to a direct cause. One of these is Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome that affects about 2% of the adult population of North America. Another is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Like Fibromyalgia, there seems to be no direct cause, and the symptoms can sometimes masquerade as other conditions. These symptoms include, and are not limited to musculoskeletal pain, ranging from general ache to shooting pains through the body, stiffness, chronic fatigue, sleep issues, depression and anxiety, and cognitive issues. One of the major symptoms of Fibromyalgia is the existence of tender points, which are 18 symmetrical spots of tenderness – pain when pressed – arrayed throughout the body.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome presents as similar to Fibromyalgia but focuses on the fatigue. The sufferer of Chronic Fatigue syndrome is unable to sleep properly, is tired all the time, which is made worse after periods of exercise, and is not improved with rest. Bouts of dizziness are also common, as are swollen lymph nodes in neck or armpits.
Not every sufferer experiences Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue the same way, however, which adds to the difficulty in diagnosing it. As with any unusual or recurring aches or pains, please visit your doctor if you think you may have either of these syndromes.
Studies have shown that frequent use of Infrared Saunas can have a beneficial effect on the sufferer of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Though these syndromes are not completely understood yet, significant strides have taken place. It is hypothesised that sufferers of these syndromes have been unknowingly poisoned by heavy metals such as mercury, lead, or arsenic. One way to relieve the body of these toxins is to sweat them out, using either a regular steam sauna, or an Infrared Sauna.
Whether that is accurate or not, Infrared Therapy has been effective in treating the symptoms of these conditions, if not the underlying causes. As we have seen, Infrared Therapy draws blood to the affected location, bringing a cessation of pain and increased healing. Infrared Therapy can aid in sleep issues, raising natural melatonin levels, which enable the patient to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And Infrared Therapy has been effective in helping the body recover from exertion or injury, which may be of some benefit to the sufferer of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue syndrome.
Some work has been done on Infrared Therapy’s effects on Depression and Anxiety, enough to show that the study is promising, but suggests that ongoing treatment is required for continuing good health, which is the case for any therapy. No therapy is ‘one and done’.
To the sufferer of these syndromes, life seems like a constant battle against pain and fatigue, but there may be hope, in the form of Infrared Therapy. As always, consult your physician before starting any treatment plan.
‘A potential role for Photobiomodulation Therapy in Disease Treatment and Prevention in the Era of Covid-19.’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7673843/